Dr IP Desai

Dr I P Desai’s contribution in uplifting and providing services for persons with disabilities is unparalleled in South Africa.

He joined the fledgling Natal Indian Cripple Care as a member in the early seventies. He soon became an integral part of the Planning Committee.


Dr. Desai headed a team that presented a memorandum on the organisation and functioning of the Centre to the Executive of the Association on 27 September 1978.

The Memorandum included recommendations in respect of:

  • Control organisation and management of the Centre.
  • Range of services to be piloted.
  • Constitution of the Board of Management.
  • Range of programmes.
  • Role functions of the various staff members, including social workers, physiotherapist, orthopaedic nurse, occupational therapist, speech therapist, pre-school teacher, workshop supervisor, driver factotum and receptionist.
  • Conditions of service for staff.
  • Use of volunteers.

The document laid the foundation for the structuring of the Association for many years.


As a distinguished educationist, he guided the Association in establishing the first school for Indian Cerebral Palsied learners.

Planning began in the early seventies. He once again headed a team that presented a memorandum outlining the establishment, funding and functioning of the school, the role of staff members, modified desks and chairs, transport etc. His greatest contribution was the bold curriculum that was implemented. Dr Desai was ably assisted Mr Arthur Gordon and others.

He remained a dedicated member of the Association until he emigrated to Australia.

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