New Delhi, March 26: “The National Conference on Down Syndrome” was organised by the National Trust for the welfare of people with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities. The conference aimed at providing all kind of support to these people.While inaugurating, Minister for Social Justice and Empoweremnt, Thaawarchand Gehlot called upon the people to provide all types of support and help to Persons with Down syndrome. He said that persons with Down syndrome are working in various areas and there is a need to recognize their talent and create environment conducive for Persons with Down syndrome. People with Down syndrome can and do lead full and rewarding lives and contribute as valued and equal members of their communities. The highlight of the conference was the presentation of Vinyas, Self Advocate with Down syndrome and Employee of Lemon Tree Hotel, Delhi about his journey of life.
Also present were Minister of State for Supreme Justice Krishan Pal Gurjar and Vijay Sampla, N.S. Kang, Secretary, Dr. K. K. Pandey, Chairperson of National Trust, Mukesh Jain, CEO of National Trust along with senior central and state governments officials, representatives from civil societies and parents of persons with Down Syndrome were present on the occasion. Minister Gehlot also invited the valuable suggestions and inputs from the people in this regard. He said that that anyone who has taken birth is an integral part of our human resources and people’s participation is very necessary for successful implementation of the government’s schemes.
Every year 20 to 22 thousand children take birth with Down syndrome in our country and the need of the hour is to bring them in the mainstream, while expressing his concern said Krishan Pal Gurjar.
Vijay Sampla highlighted the need for the empowerment of persons with this disability and appealed to all concerned departments, health professionals, members of civil societies and other stakeholders to extend their support to these persons. N. S. Kang emphasized on the various initiatives being taken by his Department for the welfare of Divyangjans in our country.
Dr. K. K. Pandey informed about various initiatives being taken by the National Trust and said that for Empowerment & mainstreaming of persons with disabilities covered under National Trust Act.
Mukesh Jain in his introductory address said that down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21 and is associated with physical growth and delays, characteristic facial features and mild to moderate intellectual disability. He mentioned that the vision of the National Trust towards persons with down syndrome is that they should be included in the family, school, employment and all Socio-cultural activities of the society. We should move towards self-determination and inclusion in its real sense.
The one day conference was attended by a panel of experts and professionals in the field including Dr. Surekha Ramachandran, Founder & Chairperson, Down Syndrome Federation of India, Chennai, Dr. Shanti Auluck, Chairperson and Founder Member, Muskaan, Delhi, Dr I. C. Verma, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi etc.
The inaugural session was followed by panel discussion on key issues concerning Persons with Down syndrome like Positive Approach to Down Syndrome, Early Intervention & Schooling, Possibilities of Growth and Development & Health Issues. The daylong conference was attended by more than 300 persons including Persons with down syndrome, parents of persons with down syndrome, members of civil societies, officials of central and state governments, foreign delegates etc.