Kudumbashree as the poverty eradication mission has been actively involved in the process of empowering women by making them aware of their rights and entitlements. In the mission of eradicating the poverty a need assessment was performed using the deprivation criteria. It was a unique survey compared to the conventional BPL survey performed. In the identification of poverty through the deprivation criteria the families shared their real life situations and problems which gave hither to unknown picture of poverty. It was revealed that destitution and disability are the major challenges encountered by the community. Kudumbashree thus initiated two major projects which are: Destitute identification and rehabilitation program named Asraya and Disability mainstreaming program namely BUDs.
The birth of the first BUDs school happened at Venganoor Panchayat in 2004, inaugurated by the former honorable chief minister then Sri. AK Antony. The school was unique in its various ways. The entry and exits to these schools stood away from all sorts of discrimination based on religion, caste, class. To avoid the sin of labeling and stigma towards mental retardation the school was named as “BUDs”. The community accepted the center whole heartedly, but could not replicate it as there was no sustained financial support available for BUDs. The project resurrected when the decentralized plan guidelines of 11th plan included BUDs as one of the important projects in support of Persons with disability. It endorsed LSGI to meet some expenses for managing BUDs.
In 2008 Kudumbashree mission took the challenge to organize BUDs schools in other Panchayats with recognition under Persons with Disability Act of 1995. By 2010, the Department of Education approved the initiatives of Kudumbashree and began to sanction grant in aid to BUDs. Now there are 63 approved BUDs school in the state.
Click here for List of BUDS Schools
With the policy focus on inclusive and integrated education more and more children with mental retardation began to be enrolled in government schools. This has provided the mentally retarded children an opportunity for schooling in inclusive atmosphere where they can learn upto the age of 18. However there was no institution to take care of the mentally challenged above the age of 18 especially in rural areas which became another problem and issue of the family. The neighborhood groups began to demand for day care and training for mentally challenged adult persons within the local area. The panchayats also demanded for such an initiative. It was in this circumstances Kudumbashree mission evolved the concept of BRC and the government of Kerala approved the proposal. Thus Kudumbashree decided to shift the focus from school age group to post school age group. The government of Kerala accordingly approved the innovative model. BUDs Rehabilitation Center was formed thus in 2013.The center focuses on the rehabilitation, training and day care of these mentally challenged persons. It follows a unique rehabilitation approach which ensures the participation of all the stakeholders associated with it.
Click here for List of BUDS Rehabilitation Centers