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Thursday, 29 May 2014

UAE starts drive to vaccinate 3.6m Pak kids against polio - ISLAMABAD

In implementation of the directives and initiatives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to support the health sector in Pakistan, the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan, (UAE PAP), has announced the launch of the UAE vaccination campaign against polio in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and tribal areas in Pakistan.

The campaign, under the slogan "Health for All ... Better Future," was launched during a press conference in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

During a speech at the press conference, Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, Director of UAE PAP, said, "The launch of the UAE vaccination campaign came as per the directives of Sheikh Khalifa to provide humanitarian and development assistance to the friendly people of Pakistan. It also comes as part of the initiative of General Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to eradicate polio in the world."

He pointed out that the UA. campaign is a humanitarian initiative aimed at vaccinating 3.643 million Pakistani children against polio over a period of three months, i.e. June, August and September, 2014.

Sheikh Mohamed had previously donated Dhs440 million as a contribution in support of the global effort to eradicate polio by 2018, with a special focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan.

This contribution is the second one to be provided by Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed to deliver life-saving vaccines to children all over the world, as in 2011, Sheikh Mohamed and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a strategic partnership whereby a total amount of $100 million divided equally between the two parties, was presented for the purchase and delivery of vital vaccines for children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Also, the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi in 2013 saw the announcement of the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan which aims to completely eradicate polio, which would cost the international community $ 5.5 billion.

Source : Gulf  Today , 28th May 2014

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Polio immunisation at Mangalore Airport

Mangalore International Airport has made arrangements for the polio vaccination to the passengers who travel to or from the airport to seven endemic countries in the world. A press statement by the Director of Mangalore International Airport, JT Radhakrishna, said here on Tuesday that arrangements have been made to immunise the passengers who travel to countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya. Yenepoya Hospital, which is managing the medical counter at the airport, is managing the polio vaccination.

Source : The Hindu - Business Line ; 27th May 2014

Scientists Develop Genetic Formula for Detecting Autism Earlier

It’s been said several times that early intervention is key in helping children with autism reach their fullest potential. Truer words have never been said, but there’s just one problem: early detection is still lacking.

Even though autism is on the rise, with somewhere around 1 in 68 children now on the spectrum, most aren’t diagnosed until about age four. The crux of the situation is that genetic variations responsible for autism are triggered during prenatal development, and brain growth is most rapid from birth to age three. Essentially, this means we’re missing out on some serious intervention opportunities. Researchers from Sick Kids Hospital hope to change that with their genetic detection formula.

All of us have genetic variations (otherwise known as mutations). They are what make us unique individuals. But they are also the cause of certain disorders and defects, like autism. Unfortunately, the specific mutations for autism have been difficult to distinguish. This is partly due to the fact that so many different genetic sequences can be affected.


Currently, there are about 100 genes used in autism testing, but we don’t know which symptoms are associated with each gene. To make things even more complicated, not all mutations in a genetic sequence will lead to autism. For example, a mutation in one area of the gene SHANK3 – a gene frequently analyzed in autism testing – will lead to the development of autism. But if the mutation is found in a different area of that very same gene, autism will not develop.

That’s the big enigma in the field,” Dr. Stephen Scherer, senior scientist at Sick Kids Hospital and lead author of the Nature Genetics published study, told The Globe and Mail.

Sick Kids Hospital researchers hoped to create a better testing system. To do so, they looked at all the available genetic data on autism – genomes on 3,000 families from North America and Europe.

“We didn’t look at the gene as an entire unit,” Scherer said. Instead, they focused on patterns in known autism risk genes and their exons, the protein-coding parts of the genes themselves.

“It’s those segments of the genes that are turned on very early in brain development and are very highly evolutionarily conserved – those are almost always found to be involved in autism,” Scherer said.

Their approach paid off, and now they hope to develop a tool for autism testing, one that will hopefully improve the detection time and early intervention efforts very soon.
“We’ve stumbled up on the core group of genes that is necessary for human cognition,” Scherer said. “We’re going to try to develop this into a tool that clinicians can use – and that will happen in the next year.”
Buzz is already building over this tool. In fact, Lineagen, a research-based genetic diagnostic company based in Salt Lake City, has already expressed interest in the diagnostic tool.

“We are very interested in talking to Sick Kids and Dr. Scherer about incorporating his findings into our current diagnostic testing,” Lineagen president, Michael Paul, told The Globe and Mail.

And Autism Speaks expressed their hope that this tool can also be used to help develop medications for core autism symptoms like repetitive behavior and social difficulties (which currently do not exist).
“[Dr. Scherer is] one of the pre-eminent researchers in the autism genetics field,” Dr. Robert Ring, chief science officer at Autism Speaks told The Globe and Mail. “The good news for families here is the activity in this area [drug development] is growing every day.”

Source : Growing Your Baby , 27th May 2014

iPads give autistic children a voice

Jaime Morin, 9, was diagnosed with autism at age 2 and has been nonverbal his whole life. When the therapy he was receiving at school became insufficient, his mother, Lupe Santander, sent him to Big Sky Pediatric Therapy, where he went for speech and occupational therapy once a week. It was there that they heard of Zach's Voice, a nonprofit group that provides iPads to autistic children with communication deficiencies.

"He can say exactly what he wants with the iPad," says Santander. "When he first figured it out, the look on his face was priceless. We could finally understand him, we didn't have to say 'Yes' or 'No' when he pointed to things."

Because children with autism who are nonverbal cannot talk, the thoughts occupying their heads are unable to come out - that's where the iPad comes in. Through the application of their choice, the children can form sentences by putting together words, which come in the form of buttons and a picture to match the word. Then, they play it back for others to hear. The iPad becomes their voice.

"It facilitates their understanding of the world around them," says Danielle Skala, functional communication classroom teacher at Forest North Elementary in the Round Rock Independent School District. She has a few students who use iPads in her classroom.

Zach's Voice became an official organization last May, giving out their first iPad the month before. Their mission is to provide iPads to children ages 3 to 21 with autism spectrum disorder who have communication disabilities. They take iPad donations from the community, as well as money donations to use toward buying refurbished iPads.

Zach's Voice was founded by Abby Whitworth, who named the organization after her 7-year-old son. Whitworth was inspired by Zach's initial interaction with the iPad. Prior to the Apple product, he used DynaVox, a heavy device that was hard to program, Whitworth said. Besides being clunky, it also drew attention to him. With an iPad, however, he blends in.

"They're the coolest kids in school," says Skala. "The iPad gives them a social status."

A particular incident at the grocery store prompted Whitworth to spread the positive effects of the iPad to other families with nonverbal kids in the community. While shopping, she saw an autistic child walking around with note cards, which he used to communicate. The number of words available through this approach, however, is limited.

Educational assistant Stacey Beswick high-fives Zach Whitworth, 7, as they work with an iPad in the functional communication class at Forest North Elementary School on Thursday May 8, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman/MCT)


"The iPad lets kids use all the words they want," says Whitworth. "It's an unlimited amount of options, as opposed to what you get with handwritten note cards."

"With picture books and note cards, I got to decide what the kids said," says Skala. "Now, the child decides."

The application recommended by Zach's Voice is ProLoQuo2Go, which costs $219.99 at the iTunes store. The organization provides its recipients with a gift card that covers the cost of whatever app they decide to download. Jaime chose Lamp Words for Life, the program he had been using with his therapist.

ProLoQuo2Go lets its users add words to the program, such as family members' names and their favorite cartoon characters. Adding a button is instantaneous, and kids can customize them by taking a picture of the word they add.

"The kids start off using the app to communicate about the things they love," says Whitworth. "It's rewarding and motivates them to use the program."

Zach's Voice works with speech-language therapists at different schools to find families who would benefit from the program.

Parents must promise to use the iPad strictly for the benefit of the autistic child, and no other apps are allowed to be downloaded. The idea is that the iPad is to be used as a means to help the kid communicate and for no other purpose. It becomes part of the child's everyday activity, just as essential as wearing shoes when they leave the house.

The iPad can do more than just help children with autism communicate; sometimes it can facilitate them to talk.

"Zach talks now," Whitworth says. "It started six months ago, about a year and a half after he first got his iPad."

According to a study done by Ann Kaiser, researcher at Vanderbilt Peabody College of Education and Human Development in Tennessee, children with autism who are minimally verbal can "learn to speak later than previously thought, and iPads are playing an increasing role in making that happen." The speech-generating devices can encourage children ages 5 to 8 to develop speaking skills, Kaiser wrote.

Jaime's speech also expanded since his first interaction with the iPad. He has started to repeat sentences and words after hearing them through the app. When he hears a certain pronunciation, he tries to imitate it.

"It opens up their world, their voice can be heard," Santander says. "He's not stuck in his little body anymore. It has given him confidence."

The iPad as a communication device also can relieve anxiety, which is common in nonverbal kids with autism.

"Being heard and understood can be a great source of relief for our kids," Whitworth says.

Source : Republican American , 27th May 2014

China donates 121 shower wheelchairs for disabled persons

The Government of the People’s Republic of China has made a donation of 121 shower wheelchairs in Port Louis today. The wheelchairs will be distributed by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions amongst disabled persons, including children.


The donation ceremony was graced by the presence of the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, Mrs Sheila Bappoo, and the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Li Li.

A shower wheelchair is designed for a disabled person who uses a wheelchair as their primary means of moving around and has an accessible shower. This type of wheelchair is of great help as it is easier to use than a shower bench or seat in the shower. The wheelchair is waterproof and rust proof to ensure durability as well as lightweight to make it easier to use.

In her address, Minister Bappoo pointed out that the mission of Government is to give every disabled person the best opportunity to live life at its fullest. The mobility autonomy by itself can be regarded as a turning point towards independency and self-reliance, which is one of the essential steps in their development, she added.

It is the responsibility of the whole society, and not only for Government to give all available opportunities to persons with disabilities without any reservation, she said.  Minister Bappoo also expressed her appreciation towards China for showing immense sensibility towards disabled persons.

According to the Minister, this donation of wheelchairs will bring immeasurable happiness to many disabled persons and their families. In a bid to empower families of disabled persons, Mrs Bappoo announced the setting up of a Parents’ Empowerment Programme by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions. She also requested the support of China in the setting up of a university for the elderly.  

For his part, Mr Li Li, stated that he expected the 121 wheelchairs donated today will serve the purpose and fulfill the basic needs of the beneficiaries and improve their living conditions.

In many countries, disabled persons are often victims of discrimination, he underlined, adding that it is not the case in Mauritius where Government is doing its best to create an inclusive society.

Source : Republic of Mauritius , 27th May 2014

99-year-old US woman receives college diploma 75 years later

A 99-year-old woman in the US has finally received her college diploma after she failed to pay the required fee of USD five 75 years ago.

Jessie Rose White of Belfast, Maine, received a degree in stenography and bookkeeping after completing courses at Beal College in Bangor in 1939.

"I'm delighted!" White said, "I didn't have the money to pay for the diploma, so I didn't get it."

"I'm glad I had to wait 75 years, because it was more fun than it would have been in the first place," wheelchair-bound White said at a special graduation ceremony held yesterday.

White says she put herself through bookkeeping courses with USD 500 her uncle had given her years before she enrolled at Beal.

"It stayed in the bank, and he specified it couldn't be used for anything but education," White said.

White says she used all her money to complete the required courses and could not afford the USD 5 diploma fee.

Dona Gilbert, a friend of White's who recently learned about her plight, contacted the college to share White's story.

"She deserved a diploma. I just thought it needed to be done," Gilbert said.

Beal College President Allen Stehle presented White with her diploma.

"He gave me a receipt showing that it was paid for," White said. "He has a great sense of humour."

Diagnosed with polio at 18 months old, White used crutches to make her way around the Beal campus when she was a student. She struggled to get a job after because of her disability, working as a bookkeeper and later a seamstress.

Today, after a number of foot surgeries, White uses a wheelchair.

A regular on the computer and the Internet, White intends to keep pursuing an education.

"I've always had a great thirst for learning, and I try to learn something new every day. I'd love to go back to college now if I had the strength."

White was joined at her graduation by her son, daughter- in-law and three grandchildren.

"We're very appreciative of the care and attention to detail that was put into the graduation ceremony," said her son, William White.

Source : Business Standard , 27th May 2014

She Scripts Success with her Mind’s Eye : Kochi

Blindness did not deter her from dreaming big. O Aishwarya of Rajagiri Christu Jayanthi Public School may not be able to see the world like other children would but her achievement can well become a beacon of light that can show the way for several other children like her.

Aishwarya, who was born blind, passed the Plus-Two examinations with A+ in all subjects from a school where the others enjoyed the sense of sight. When she came to the city after passing Class V from Bangalore, she was denied admission in several schools.

 “In spite of her excellent academic records, the school managements were not willing to take up the responsibility. But we wanted her to grow up like any other child. What such children require is guidance and not sympathy,” said Aishwarya’s father O R Ravi.

Aishwarya studied and passed the Class VI examinations with the help of a scribe. The most difficult part was to orate mathematical problems that she had to mentally solve.

 “Her grasping power is commendable. She has a sharp memory too,” said Saji Varghese, Principal of the school.

Only when she reached Class VII was she trained in braille. When she stepped into Class IX she got to train in computer. With the help of computer software Jaws, developed for the visually challenged, she read her books and typed notes. She now surfs the net faster than those who can see. Her textbooks are sent to Chennai from where it is converted into digital format.

 While other blind children appear for exams with the help of braille, Aishwarya’s parents insisted that she use Jaws and she appeared for the exam in Thiruvananthapuram with the help of a lab-technician and two teachers.

Aishwarya’s clinical condition has no known cure. But this doesn’t stop her from dreaming.

She wants to pursue Economics and work with the Indian Economic Service.

 “I am extremely happy with the result. It was definitely hard but worth it. I hope more educational institutions offer admissions to  differently-abled students, promote inclusive education and lead us to mainstream society” said Aishwarya.

Source : The New Indian Express , 28th May 2014

No proper grounds for visually-impaired team - ISLAMABAD

Pakistan Blind Cricket team captain Zeeshan Abbasi revealed that the national team is facing hurdles in its World Cup preparations due to the unavailability of a proper ground for the visually-impaired players in the country.

The Blind Cricket World Cup will be staged in Cape Town, South Africa from November 25

The Blind Cricket World Cup will be staged in Cape Town, South Africa from November 25.

Abbasi, who made his international debut in 2000, said that the players have to go from pillar to post for arranging grounds for training and organising matches whenever they require such facilities.

The captain further said that his team has won two back-to-back Blind Cricket World Cups in 2002 and 2006, but still have to make-do with whatever is available since no one is there to help them construct a proper ground.“I request the government to help us in this regard so that we can improve our game,” said Abbasi.

“We have 45 kanals of land at Ferozepur, Lahore but the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) is short on funds to build a stadium and hostel.  A helping in this regard by the higher authorities will solve all our problems.”

Speaking about the preparations for the mega event, Abbasi revealed that training camps will be organized for the team after Ramzan.

He added that India and South Africa would be the toughest opponents in the upcoming World Cup.
“Hopefully, we will be 100% prepared for them in the mega event and will bring home a third trophy as well.”

Source : The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2014.

Nagaland State’s Disabled Disability : Dimapur

“I once met a physically challenged bank officer, known and respected by everyone in his office in Delhi. He was married and the sole earner of his family. As father of a physically challenged boy, I wished my son could also lead a life on his own like the officer,” said David Sha, a Poumai church leader. The population of physically or intellectually disabled persons in Nagaland has been sidelined by the Government. Though organizations like Special Olympics Nagaland (SON) have trained and groomed many disabled youth, several from the rural interiors of Nagaland remain unacknowledged.

The Government of Nagaland’s poor outreach towards people with disabilities has left them, and their families, helpless. David Sha added, “My son studied a few courses in Delhi and won prizes in Basketball and painting at state level competitions. We have spent a lot on him—his hard work and achievements have made us proud but even after all this, he is unemployed. There is no separate office or information centre, where we could get some information about facilities. I go from one office to another, only to be referred to another. At the end of the day, all that was of no use.”

In 50 years of its statehood, Nagaland has been unable to create a scheme or a fund pool for disabled students. Zaveyi Nyekha, Director School Education, Nagaland, noted, “As of now, we have been unsuccessful in identifying students with disabilities at a district level. We have around fourteen disability schools in Kohima, and sometimes we have provided them with Rs. 1 lakh to provide special training to teachers in such schools. The idea of dealing with disabled students in Nagaland is still very vague and our efforts have been insignificant. We too are helpless as there is no special financial assistance for them.” 

Organisations like SON have a similar story. Even when they find efficient students and train them in sports and athletics, they run out of funds to sponsor them. “We expect some government aid for the students to compete at international levels. We have had many winners from Nagaland at many international competitions but now it is getting difficult for us to raise funds or sponsor them. They come with huge expectations and to leave them without anything is disheartening,” said Victor from SON.

Compared with neighbouring states like Assam or Manipur, the Government of Nagaland has not created employment opportunities for disabled persons. Heling Eeliang, an agitated father said, “My daughter is deaf and mute but she studies in a normal school with no special teachers to train her. The Government of Nagaland has never come to assist people with disabilities. There is no separate cell and no separate allotment for our children in the State. I want my daughter to be an employed woman in Dimapur as I am too scared to send her out, but the State has given us very poor response. Hence, we have lost our hopes.”

A year back, Nagaland State realized the need for a special disability commissioner. Dr. Atha Vizol, State Disability Commissioner said, “It has only been a year since I joined the office as a Disability Commissioner but I don’t have any staff till date. The scholarships allotted to students and other people with disability are not very clear till date as the department (sic) is in its initial stage. I have had meetings with a number NGOs and requested them to help and train people with disabilities.”

On May 9 this year, Don Bosco Tech’s certification courses included four physically challenged students. They were given domain specific training in hospitality, industrial sewing machine operation, beauty and spa, electrical welding etc. Brother Sunny of Don Bosco said, “This is a first of its kind initiative in Nagaland. Most of our students are placed but the corporate are reluctant to take the physically challenged students. So we look forward to local companies who can employ them and help them to earn a living.”

Sangtemjungshi Longkumer, a police officer said, “My son, Maongkaba, is fortunate to undergo this type of a training. Now I am slightly confident about his future but I feel the Government should come forward to help people with disabilities. It is disheartening to see our children suffer due to their disability while others like them in the neighboring states are government employed.”  

Arya Lakshmi studies journalism at the Madras Christian College, and is currently an intern at The Morung Express

Source : The Morung Express , 28th May 2014

Man arrested for raping 13-year-old disabled niece : Thane

A 35-year-old labourer from Boisar in Palghar taluka here was arrested for allegedly raping his physically and mentally challenged niece over the last six months, district rural police said today.

According to PSI, B L Rathod of Boisar police station, accused Vijay Sakharam More, living in Salvad of Dandi Pada has been sexually abusing his brother's 13-year-old daughter since six months. He used to take the girl to his house and assault her, police said quoting the complaint by the victim's mother after she came to know about the crime.

The victim being a handicap, could not resist the assault on her.

Police arrested More last night and charged him under sections 376(2)(F)(I)(J)(L) and (H) and also under sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

Source : Business Standard , 29th May 2014

Mangalore: MIT students develop 1000 cc Monster Trike for differently-abled

An auto transmission car, a tricycle, a scooter fitted with an extra wheel - these are some of the vehicles usually used by the differently-abled. Now, there is one more added to the list, a unique one too, designed by budding engineers of MIT Manipal.

As part of their final year project, automobile engineering students of MIT Manipal have come up with a 'trike', which is likely to appeal to the differently-abled. This model serves a dual purpose as it is not only for the differently-abled but can be enjoyed by other trike lovers too.

The project has been designed by four students - Sayyed Abdul, Prakyath, Apoorv Prem, and Satyam. Sayyed and Prakyath are from Mangalore while Apoorv and Satyam hail from Delhi. It was total dedication, hard work, and team effort by these four that made this project successful.

Speaking to the media, Prakyath said, "There are three key features in this trike that can make it successful. First, it comes with a 1000 cc engine; secondly, it has an automatic transmission; and third, it is a three-wheeler. These three key features are likely to attract a huge number of people to these trikes."

"So far, differently-abled people have had no other option other than the same old models available in the market. Hence, this trike is likely to bring happiness not only to the differently-abled people, but also to trike fans. This machine can still be improvised," he added.

Sharing his thoughts, Sayyed said that the trike has auto transmission and is very comfortable and ideal for the differently-abled. "It runs at a maximum speed of 150 km/hr and has a 50 BHP engine fitted with a '98 Model Suzuki Zen engine, Royal Enfield Thunderbird projector headlamps, KTM front forks and Hayabusa tyres at the rear with 16-inch Skoda mag wheels make it look grand. The mileage at present is a minimum of 20 per litre. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 3 lac," he explained.

"Our project guide Ravishankar Baliga and HoD Rammohan Pai have named this project and model as 'Monster Trike'," said Sayyed and Prakyath.

Source : Daijy World , 28th May 2014

Marathon Race for differently abled - Imphal

In connection with observance of World Environment Day, Chanura Women Welfare Association would be conducting the 1st State Level Differently Able Persons Marathon Race 2014 on 5th June, 2014 .

Interested clubs, organizations, institutions, agencies, NGOs and individual can collect detailed information of the competition from the given mobile phone nos.9612258390 and 9862495949 .

Source : E-Pao , 26th May 2014

मन से विकलांग नहीं मजबूत बनें: अरुणिमा सिन्हा : Lucknow

मन से विकलांग नहीं मजबूत बनें: अरुणिमा सिन्हा

लखनऊ. ट्रेन हादसे में अपना पैर खो देने के बाद भी एवरेस्ट फतह करने वाली अरुणिमा सिन्हा के हौसले बुलंद हैं। वह कहती हैं कि यदि मन से विकलांग हैं तो आप वाकई में विकलांग हैं, लेकिन आप मन से मजबूत हैं तो विकलांग होने के बावजूद आप कहीं से विकलांग नहीं हैं। 
अरुणिमा सिन्हा के मुताबिक फेसबुक पर हर दिन बहुत से युवा सवाल करते हैं। आपने एवरेस्ट कैसे फतह की? मेरा उनसे एक ही जवाब होता है कि लक्ष्य पर फोकस रहें। उसे याद रखें और आगे पढ़ें। की टीम ने अरुणिमा सिन्हा से कई मुद्दों पर बातचीत की। पेश है उन सवालों के जवाब जो आप भी जानना चाहेंगे। 
खुद को और दूसरों को कैसे मोटीवेट करती हैं? 
जवाबः जहां तक मेरा सवाल है मैं अपना टारगेट निर्धारित करती हूं। जब तक उसे पूरा ना हो जाए याद रखती हूं। अपने रग- रग में उसे बसा लेती हूं। जब तक पूरा ना हो जाए। तब तक उसके पीछे भागें जबतक भगवान उसे देने पर मजबूर न हो जाएं। आप एक कदम तो ईमानदारी से बढ़ाएं बाकी नौ कदम वह खुद ही बढ़ाएंगे। 
पर्वतारोहण का ख्याल कैसे और किसकी प्रेरणा से आया?
जवाबः हादसे के बाद जब मैं बेड पर थी उस समय यह ख्याल आया। तब पैर में केवल रॉड थी। ठीक से चल भी नहीं सकती थी। उस समय मेरे ब्रदर-इन-लॉ ने मुझे पर्वतारोहण के लिए सुझाव दिया। मुझे यह सुझाव मजाक ही लगा, लेकिन उन्होंने मुझसे कहा की पहाड़ चढ़ने के लिए पैर नहीं, मजबूत इरादों की जरूरत होती है। बस वहीं से यह खेल शुरू हो गया। 
संघर्ष के समय परिवार की भूमिका कैसी रही?
जवाबः मेरा परिवार मेरे लिए 'बैकबोन' की तरह है। इनके सपोर्ट के बिना यहां तक पहुंचना मुमकिन नहीं था। एक पैर गंवाने के बाद जब मैंने एवरेस्ट पर चढ़ने की बात कहीं तो सभी ने मेरा मजाक उड़ाया। ऐसे समय में भी मेरा पूरा परिवार मेरे साथ था।

मन से विकलांग नहीं मजबूत बनें: अरुणिमा सिन्हा

अस्पताल के बाद आप सबसे पहले अपने मिशन के लिए किससे मिलीं?

जवाबः अस्पताल के बाद मैं सीधे बछेंद्री पालजी के पास गयी और उनको अपने प्लान (एवरेस्ट फतह) के बारे में बताया। मुझे देख उनकी आंखों में आंसू आ गए। बोलीं कि कोई भी निर्णय इमोशनल होकर मत लेना। पहले पहाड़ों पर जाओ और देखो। फिर मैंने डेढ़ साल तक उनसे ट्रेनिंग ली। जिसके बाद टाटा स्टील ने मुझे स्पॉन्सर किया और मैं एवरेस्ट पर सफल पर्वतारोहण कर सकी।
आपको नहीं लगता की हादसे में बैग और चैन को जाने दिया होता तो ऐसा नहीं होता?
जवाबः मेरे साथ आज भी कुछ ऐसा हो तो भी मैं अपना कुछ नहीं जाने दूंगी। मुझे उस हादसे का कोई अफसोस नहीं है। बल्कि गर्व होता है कि मैंने गलत का विरोध किया।
आप लोगों से क्या कहना चाहेंगी?
जवाबः मेरा लोगों से निवेदन है कि कभी भी आपके आसपास ऐसा कुछ हो तो उनकी मदद जरूर करें। जिससे फिर किसी अरुणिमा के साथ ऐसा न हो। कुछ भी गलत हो रहा हो तो उसका पूरा विरोध करें। तभी समाज में ऐसी घटनाओं में कमी आएगी।
कोई ऐसा सपना जो आज भी अधूरा है?
जवाबः हादसे से पहले मैं एक अंतरराष्ट्रीय वालीबाल खिलाड़ी थी। एक पैर खोने के बाद यह सपना अधूरा रह गया। मेरे मन में इसको लेकर कोई मलाल अब नहीं है। क्योंकि जब आपका एक सपना अधूरा रह जाता है, तो ऊपर वाला और दस सपने पूरा कर देता है। अब मैं पैरा-वालीबाल तो खेल ही सकती हूं। जो व्हील चेयर पर खेला जाता है। उसकी तैयारी कर रही हूं।

मन से विकलांग नहीं मजबूत बनें: अरुणिमा सिन्हा

कोई सपना जो अब पूरा करना चाहती है?
जवाबः अभी तक जितने भी अचीवमेंट हैं, वह मेरे अकेले हैं। दूसरों के लिए अभी तक कुछ नहीं किया। उनके लिए अब कुछ करना चाहती हूं। मेरा सपना है कि एक अंतरराष्ट्रीय अकादमी बनाऊं। जहां हर तरह के खेल सिखाएं जाएं। इसके लिए जमीन उन्नाव के पास ले ली है। पूरा प्रोजेक्ट 25 करोड़ रुपए का है। जिसे पूरा बनवाना है। यह बन जाए तो देश में यह अपनी तरह का अकेला अकादमी होगा। यहां जो विकलांग बच्चे हैं, उनको हर सहूलियत के साथ खेल का प्रशिक्षण दिया जा सकेगा। अकादमी होगा तो सबके लिए, लेकिन ज्यादा फोकस विकलांग लोगों पर होगा। इससे उनके हौसलों की अफजाई की जा सकेगी।
घर और बाहर तालमेल कैसे रखती है?
जवाबः हालांकि मेरा परिवार मेरे साथ ही रहता है। इसलिए ज्यादा परेशानी नहीं होती। कई बार ट्रेनिंग के लिए लेट जरूर हो जाती हूं। वर्ष 2011 के हादसे के बाद मेरे दूसरा जन्म हुआ। अब दूसरों की मदद करना चाहती हूं। ऐसा करके बड़ा सुकून मिलता है।
आपका आगे का प्लान क्या है?
जवाबः आर्टिफिशियल ब्लेड पहन कर पैरा-ओलंपिक में भाग लेने की कोशिश कर रही हूं इसके लिए कोयंबटूर में ट्रेनिंग चल रही है। पूरी मेहनत कर रही हूं कि इसमें भाग ले सकूं।

मन से विकलांग नहीं मजबूत बनें: अरुणिमा सिन्हा

शादी के बारे में कभी ख्याल आया?

जवाबः अभी तक तो कोई ख्याल नहीं है, कोई प्रपोजल भी नहीं आया है। इसके बारे में ज्यादा सोचती भी नहीं हूं। क्योंकि यहां बात जिंदगी भर साथ निभाने की है।
अपनों से क्या कहना चाहेंगी?
जवाबः अपनों से यही कहूंगी कि कमजोरी को अपनी ताकत बनाए। एक कटे हुए पैर ने मुझे पूरी दुनिया में पहचान दी है। इस लिए आप भी अपनी कमजोरियों को पहचान कर उसे अपनी ताकत में बदलें। दुनिया आपके कदमों में होंगी। इसके लिए लेकिन आपको मेहनत करनी होगी, बिना मेहनत और लगन के कुछ नहीं मिलता।

Source : Daily Bhaskar , 25th May 2014

Monday, 26 May 2014

Sakina inaugurates CRC at Kulgam : Kashmir

Minister for Social Welfare, ARI Trainings and Public Grievances Sakina Itoo today said that Government will conduct town wise survey to ascertain ‘physical challenged and mentally retarded persons’ to formulate specific action plan for the effective rehabilitation of this important and vulnerable segment of the society.

Minister was speaking after inaugurating the Composite Regional Centre (CRC) established in the Block Medical office, Kulgam.

Speaking on the occasion, Sakina said that Government has taken all possible steps to further streamline the activities of CRC and rehabilitation centers. She directed the concerned officers to organize awareness camps in rural and far-flung areas to provide the rehabilitation services to the needy at the door steps.

Referring to the aims and objective of CRC, Sakina also outlined various schemes implemented by the Government for empowering the ‘disabled and challenged’ persons.

Minister reiterated that the demands put forth by the ‘handicapped persons’ would be fulfilled. She said, “We are morally bound to provide all possible assistance to the physically challenged persons,” she added.

Sakina in her address also highlighted the achievements of the Government in bringing marked improved across various sectors including Health, Education, PHE,  and R&B.

Deputy Commissioner Kulgam, Director CRC, Director Social welfare and other officers were also present on the occasion.

Source :Rising kashmir , 26th May 2014

Social security system for disabled persons improved in China

The social security system for disabled persons is being further improved, said a government report here Monday.

"The Chinese government has enlarged the range of disabled people' s social welfare and raised their benefit level," said a report on China's human rights in 2013, issued by the State Council Information Office.

By 2013, over 6.28 million disabled persons in both urban and rural areas received the minimum subsistence allowance, 4.014 million disabled persons in urban areas and 16.383 million in rural areas participated in the respective endowment insurance systems, and 944,000 disabled people were looked after by social services, according to the report.

The governments explored ways to provide poverty-stricken disabled people with living subsidies and severely disabled people with care subsidies, it said.

Some 15 provincial-level regions established the system of granting living subsidies to poverty-stricken disabled people, and eight provincial-level regions established the system of granting care subsidies to severely disabled people, benefiting over 6 million disabled people, the report said.

Source : Global Post , 26th May 2014

Banks, ATMs Yet to be Disabled Friendly despite RBI Direction : Dhenkanal ( Odhisa )

To make bank branches and ATMs accessible to people with disabilities, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently asked the banks to ensure that new ATMs provide audible instructions and Braille keypads. But no step has been taken by the banks in the district and the disabled customers face difficulty in making transactions.

Total 70 ATMs and cash deposit machines and kiosks of 18 commercial banks are functioning in the district. While the ‘normal’ customers take benefit of the services, the customers with physical disabilities continue to suffer.

Section 46 of the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 provides for non-discrimination against persons with disabilities in the built environment.

Complaining about the absence of facilities, Farrakh Ali, a physically challenged person said, “There is no arrangement of ramps so that wheel chair users or persons with disabilities can easily access the banks.”

“Besides the physically challenged persons, elderly people have mobility problem to visit banks and ATMs, a local said.

When contacted, district lead bank officer Dileswar Sahoo  criticised the banks for violating guidelines and said banks should take steps on certain matters including customers’ convenience.

Source : The New Indian Express , 27th May 2014

Workshop for physically challenged by Sahara : PORT BLAIR

The association for the physically challenged persons, Sahara and SMRC Odisa and Disable Right Fund conducted a workshop for physically challenged people of these islands recently at Prothrapur Community Hall.

 Addressing the gathering as the chief guest, Smt Ratna Kannan, Chairperson, A & N Social Welfare Board and the guest of honor, Mr Sanjay Meshack, Up-Pramukh, highlighted the problems being faced by physically challenged persons in different government offices, educational institutions and hospitals. Prof Asha Hans, Executive Vice President & founder member, Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre, Odisha interacted with the disable persons present on the occasion. She assured them to look into their problems for their early redressal.

Earlier, the Coordinator, Sahara, Smt Jennifer Ajit welcomed the gathering. Mr Sunil Kumar proposed the vote of thanks.

Source : The Echo of India , 26th May 2014

More than 900 disabled people to benefit from Oman LNG pact - Muscat

As part of its corporate social responsibility initiative, Oman LNG will provide funds for the purchase of wheelchairs and other equipment for over 900 physically challenged in the country.

An agreement to this effect was signed between the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD), Oman Association for Disabled and Oman LNG on Sunday. 

Khalid al Massan, chief corporate affairs officer, Oman LNG said, “We have signed this pact with the Oman Association for Disabled to fund purchase of equipment worth RO250,000 for the physically challenged.”
Meanwhile, H E Dr Yahya bin Badr al Mawali, Undersecretary in MoSD said the ministry is making all efforts to support the physically challenged.

“We are looking forward to the day when every physically challenged person will operate on his own and have an  individual identity.”

H E Dr Mawali said that the ministry has joined hands with non-governmental organisations to reach out to as many physically challenged as possible.

“We found that many physically challenged were not receiving the benefits provided by the ministry. So, we have joined hands with these organisations to ensure that the benefits provided by us reach the needy.”
He said the ministry is also planning projects in education, tourism and other sectors to support the physically challenged economically.

Source : Muscat Daily , 26th May 2014

The autistic children who trust their blind therapis

“Ermanno used to be impulsive. Much more than he is now.

He used to break everything and throw things. Wolfgang just didn’t know what to do with a child like that.”

Image: The autistic children who trust their blind therapis
And yet Wolfgang Fasser, a musician, therapist and ‘sound seeker’, was able to establish a profound human and professional contact with Ermanno, as well as with many other children with autism. He managed to change their lives, despite his own blindness, which occurred when he was 22 due to a genetic disease that has never cramped his creativity.

‘Nel giardino dei suoni’ is a documentary filmed by Nicola Bellucci, which tells his magical story.

“In 1999, I founded the musical improvisation workshop, Il Trillo. Children from all backgrounds come to me but especially working-class children. They come as they are and the music that we play together is the fruit of our meetings,” says Wolfgang. “My job,” he adds, “is to create an environment that allows the children to deal with their world and in which they can fully express their curiosity, their desire to play and their impulses. It fascinates me to watch the skills young people with disabilities can develop, through games or creative activities.”

With sound and silence, soul and illness in perfect harmony, it’s a quiet and relentless environment that only a professional of Wolfgang’s caliber could create.

Filmmaker Bellucci, emotionally affected by his the music therapist, is aware of this. He learned a lot during the precious moments of filming in which, alone, he recorded the progress gradually achieved by the children, particularly during the delicate therapeutic sessions.

“We’re talking about being present in very intimate situations, some of which were at the limit even for me.

In a setting that mustn’t be disturbed in any way, he manages to create an environment where there is great trust and these children, despite the severity of their disorder, feel that. Gradually, they all forgot my presence – except Ermanno!” Bellucci jokes.

Wolfgang’s approach to music therapy is a type of ‘controlled improvisation’, which the director also followed during shooting.

Following a path, a magical one of sound, that lets things flow. The result is the same as therapy: a song with a lesson. As Wolfgang says: “We aren’t the same after we have learned to listen. This is what my film aims to be: praise for the listening man.”

Source : Welfare Society Territory , 26th May 2014

New Software To Spot Autism Signs In Kids

Scientists at Duke University in the US have developed a new software program that can detect signs of autism in infants.
New Software To Spot Autism Signs In Kids

During videotaped autism screening tests, the software tracks and records activities of the infants.

The results show that the software is also more accurate than non-experts medics.

The study focused on three behavioral tests that can help identify autism in very young children.

In the first test, an infant's attention is drawn to a toy being shaken on the left side and then to a toy being shaken on the right side. Clinicians observe how long the child takes to shift his/her attention in response to the changing stimulus.

During the second test, a toy is passed across the infant's field of view. This test looks for any delay in the child tracking its motion.

In the last test, a clinician rolls a ball to a child and looks for eye contact afterward. It is a sign of the child's engagement with his/her play partner.

In all three tests, the person administering them is also counting how long it takes for the child to react.

Later this year, scientists also plan to test a new tablet application that can do away with the need for a person to administer any test at all.

Source : Gizmodo , 26th May 2014

Sense of Touch Can Trigger Our Emotions: Nerves May Impact Patients with Autism

A sense of touch, like a gentle caress, can trigger our emotions and now, scientists have found out why. They've described a system of slowly conducting nerves in the skin that respond to gentle touch, revealing how sensing something can also cause us to respond with our feelings.


A sense of touch, like a gentle caress, can trigger our emotions and now, scientists have found out why. They've described a system of slowly conducting nerves in the skin that respond to gentle touch, which could tell us more about autism

The nerves that respond to gentle touch are called c-tactile afferents (CTs). These nerves are similar to the same nerves that detect pain, but serve an opposite function. They relay events that are neither threatening nor tissue-damaging but are instead rewarding and pleasant.

"The evolutionary significance of such a system for a social species is yet to be fully determined," said Francis McGlone, one of the researchers, in a news release. "But recent research is finding that people on the autistic spectrum do not process emotional touch normally, leading us to hypothesize that a failure of the CT system during neurodevelopment may impact adversely on the functioning of the social brain and the sense of self."

In fact, the light touch of certain fabrics can distress some individuals with autism. This means that this tactile component could be a huge part of understanding why autistic individuals react the way they do to certain situations. Learning more about CTs could allow researchers to develop therapies for autistic patients and individuals who lacked adequate nurturing touch as children. In addition, scientists could better learn how nerves that relay rewarding sensations interact with those that signal pain.

"In a world where human touch is becoming more and more of a rarity with the ubiquitous increase in social media leading to non-touch-based communications, and the decreasing opportunity for infants to experience enough nurturing touch from a carer or parent due to the economic pressures of modern living, it is becoming more important to recognize just how vital emotional touch is to all humankind," said McGlone in a news release.

The findings are published in the journal Neuron.

Source : Science World Report , 26th May 2014

Seminar on polio held at RAC : Rawalpindi ( Pakistan )

A seminar to create awareness about polio was arranged by Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC) in collaboration with Rotary Club of Rawalpindi in which the participants pledged that they are committed to eradicate polio from Pakistan.

Pir Mehr Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture University (PMAS-AAUR) Vice Chancellor Rai Niaz Ahmed Khan, Naheed Manzoor and Rotary Club Governor Haji Iftikhar Ahmed participated as guests of honour while EDO Health Dr. Khalid Randhawa, Dr. Benazir from WHO, Mosa Raza, RAC Resident Director Waqar Ahmed, Rotary Club President Rashid Mashkoor and religious scholars were present on the occasion.

Addressing the seminar, PMAS-AAUR VC Rai Niaz Ahmed said polio should not be taken as an issue, but it must be taken as obligation. He further added that PMAS-AAUR, its staff and students would lead the awareness campaign about polio.

Naheed Manzoor said that awareness about polio is the need of the time.

Rotary Club Governor Haji Iftikhar Ahmed said that it was tremendous tyranny to kill polio workers especially female, which was against the spirit of Islam. He said that there are only three countries including Pakistan in the world who has still poliovirus. EDO Health Dr. Khalid Randhawa said efforts of RAC and Rotary Club are appreciable for holding such kind of awareness seminar. Rotary Club President Rashid Mashkoor, Dr. Benazir from WHO, Mosa Raza, Pastor Samuel, Allama Qasim Jaffery, Moulana Muhammad Iqbal, Hafiz Khalid and RAC Resident Director Waqar Ahmed also addressed the seminar. 

Source : The News , 25th May 2014

Differently-abled boy to play the lead in Makan

With unique themes and out-of-the-box subjects, Mollywood filmmakers are on an experimental spree. Actor Rajeev Rangan, who will turn director with Makan- The kid, is also trying out an experimental subject.

Differently-abled boy to play the lead in Makan
The protagonist in his film is a differently abled 17-year-old boy, Eldo. "This is for the first time that a special kid is playing the lead role in a feature film. The movie revolves around the life of a child suffering from Down syndrome and the challenges faced by him. The intention of the movie is to spread awareness about how such children can be trained in other areas of interest, and how they can be motivated to excel in their chosen field," says Rajeev.

The debut filmmaker says he was eager to do an off-beat film. "I have visited a few schools, which trains these special kids. In fact, since the last two years I have been working on this project. There is no commercial aspect to it, and I believe our viewers always look forward to a variety of themes in films. There are many who enjoy serious cinema and I think Makan will cater to them," he says.

The most challenging part for the director is to make Eldo act in the film. The makers of the film believe that the story of Eldo will be able to inspire such special children in pursuing their aspirations despite the challenges. "The protagonist is the child of theatre artistes John and Bhuvana. The parents are taking great efforts in helping their child develop his individuality. It is easy to make a normal kid act, but it would be definitely challenging as a filmmaker to make a special kid act," says the director.

Makan is expected to start rolling in Kochi in June.

Source : TOI  , 27th May 2014

Priority for mental health programme, says official - MADURAI

Public and private sectors must join hands and implement the State Mental Health Programme which would benefit a large number of patients, said State Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan here on Saturday.

State Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan addressing a function in the city on Saturday. Photo: R. Ashok

State Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan addressing a function in the city on Saturday.


Inaugurating a de-addiction centre at Velammal Medical College Hospital, he said the Tamil Nadu government gave top priority to the mental health programme. Expressing concern over the low level of awareness of harmful effects of substance abuse among the public, he stressed the need for educating them on its ill-effects.

C. Ramasubramanian, State Nodal Officer, Mental Health Programme, said the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) had been initiated in 16 districts through Central government funding. It had been proposed to extend the programme to nine more districts, he said.

Stressing the need for such programmes, Dr. Ramasubramanian expressed concern that more and more students were getting addicted to drugs, whiteners and alcohol. “All addictions are treatable, curable and preventable. Addicts are neither bad nor mad. It is a sickness which can be treated at de-addiction centres,” he added.

The de-addiction centre at the hospital had been equipped with 20 beds and a recreation centre for patients, said V. Ramanujam, Department of Psychiatry, Velammal Medical College.

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the function, Dr. Radhakrishnan said the proposed Regional Cancer Centre would be set up at a site accessible to patients coming from southern districts. Steps were being taken to identify a site. A Tertiary Cancer Centre was likely to come up in Madurai, he added. The Health Secretary, who is on a three-day visit to Madurai, reviewed the construction work of the super-specialty hospital near Anna bus stand and the new mortuary at Government Rajaji Hospital.

Source : The Hindu , 26th May 2014

Pakistan to supply blind cricket balls to five nations : Islamabad

Pakistan will supply 2,200 blind cricket balls to five different nations for Blind Cricket World Cup to be played at Cape Town (South Africa) in November this year.

Talking to APP, Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) Chairman Syed Sultan Shah said Sunday England have ordered 1000 of the balls to be used in their blind cricket events while Sri Lanka (200), Australia (200), India (300) and South Africa (500) have given their orders for blind cricket balls to Pakistan.

He said the company will also supply balls for the upcoming Blind Cricket World Cup (BCWC) to be staged in Cape Town, South Africa from November 25 this year.

The decision for using Pakistani balls in the extravaganza was made in the Annual General Council Meeting of the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC) held last year.

Sultan Shah, who is also the Chairman of WBCC, feels honoured for the nation that their ball is being used in the mega event.

He said prior to this India’s balls were being used in the mega event, but due to its poor quality it failed to keep up with the demand and therefore a Lahore-based ball manufacturing company got the order.

Speaking of the National Blind Team’s preparations for the World Cup, Sultan Shah said a training camp will be held at Lahore in September including 30 probables out of which 16 will be finally selected.

Sultan said some changes will be made in the World Cup squad and team management. “Many youngsters have impressed us in the domestic circuit and we are hoping to include some youngsters in the squad,” he said.

Sultan praised Peshawar’s all-rounder Haroon Khan and Bahawalpur’s bowler Sajid Nawaz saying they are performing extremely well in the domcestic circuit.

Sultan said we have requested the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for Rupees 20 million budget for the year 2014-15. “Special grant of Rupees 6.2 million for the World Cup has been included in it,” he said adding which will be hopefully released.

Source : Pakistan Observer , 26th May 2014

Social Security System for Disabled Persons Improved in China

The social security system for disabled persons is being further improved, said a government report Monday.

"The Chinese government has enlarged the range of disabled people's social welfare and raised their benefit level," said a report on China's human rights in 2013, issued by the State Council Information Office.

By 2013, over 6.28 million disabled persons in both urban and rural areas received the minimum subsistence allowance, 4.014 million disabled persons in urban areas and 16.383 million in rural areas participated in the respective endowment insurance systems, and 944,000 disabled people were looked after by social services, according to the report.

The governments explored ways to provide poverty-stricken disabled people with living subsidies and severely disabled people with care subsidies, it said.

Some 15 provincial-level regions established the system of granting living subsidies to poverty-stricken disabled people, and eight provincial-level regions established the system of granting care subsidies to severely disabled people, benefiting over 6 million disabled people, the report said.

Source : CRI English , 26th May 2014

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sign language at PM's swearing-in ceremony

Around 18 million deaf Indian citizens will be able to follow all details of Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony Monday with sign language interpretation facilities at the installation of a new prime minister for the first time in India.

Three sign language interpreters would be at duty to ensure that the oath-taking and other ceremonies of prime minister-designate Modi are made available to deaf citizens of India, the Disabled Rights Group (DRG) said in a statement Saturday.

"This is a historic first. It has been a long-standing demand on the part of the Indian disability movement that at all important public events, sign language interpretation should be made available so that deaf people are not left out and that the event is made accessible for them as well," said DRG convenor Javed Abidi.

Anuj Jain of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) said a delegation Saturday called upon Bharatiya Janata Party chief Rajnath Singh and expressed the wish, which was immediately acceded.

"Doordarshan confirmed to us that the sign language interpreters would be available not only at the ceremony but that the telecast itself would also be featuring the facility for deaf viewers across the country and even across the world," Jain said.

Source : Business Standard , 24th may 2014

Student in Coimbatore invents foot mouse for differently-abled people

An engineering student in Coimbatore has invented a device called foot mouse to help physically disabled people use computers. Lakshmi Devi has invented the device by which differently-abled persons, specifically those with arm or hand disorders, can use their feet to operate computers without the help of a third person. The foot mouse is low-cost and it would help the differently-abled people get a new lease of life by giving them opportunities to explore in education and jobs online. This new invention would also help the differently-abled to indulge in social media activities.

Source : Yahoo News Via ANI  , 24th May 2014

Enabling India's Disabled

“Disability isn’t the problem, the lack of solutions that work for the disabled is”, says Shanti Raghavan.

Shanti’s brother, Hari, started losing his eyesight at the age of fifteen due to retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that gradually diminishes eyesight. During Hari’s visit to the US, where Shanti and her husband lived at the time, they collectively decided that if he couldn’t see, that didn’t mean he couldn’t do. And so, they did: they attempted every kind of adventure sport and every – ‘ing’, including swimming, kayaking and snorkeling. This is the summer that initiated Shanti and her husband, Dipesh, into the world of empowering people with disabilities.

In this inspiring and rather motivating conversation on Chai wtih Lakshmi, Shanti shares about how her non-profit organisation Enable India is enabling thousands of people with disabilities, helping them contribute on par with the abled. The organisation works closely with corporates, the state government and with individuals to train and create employment for differently abled people. “Any person with disability actually can do any job, if they have the right solution. I call it the ‘workplace’ solution. For instance if you or I want to see at night we would use a torch, and in the same way a person with disability can use a suitable solution and achieve a similar result,” says Shanti.

To know more on the lives that Enable India has touched and Shanti Raghavan’s inspiring contribution in this space, watch this video!

About the show:
Chai with Lakshmi is India’s first award winning online talk show. It showcases people and ideas that are positively shaping India for the future. Follow the show on Twitter (@chaiwithlakshmi) and Facebook

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Source : DNA , 24th MAy 2014

Arrest of disabled Delhi professor against UNCRPD: Rights group

The arrest and confinement of wheelchair bound Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba for his alleged links with Maoists is against United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), a rights group said Friday.

"Placing a person like Saibaba with severe disability in solitary confinement and denying his rights to accessible facilities within the prison compound is against the UNCRPD and a clear violation of Article 21 of Indian Constitution that guarantees Right to Dignity and Integrity," Javed Abidi, convenor, Disability Rights Group, said in a statement.

Saibaba, professor at Ram Lal Anand College, was arrested here May 9 by Maharashtra Police for his alleged links with Maoists.

UNCRPD is an international treaty on disability rights ratified by India in 2007, which commits the country to protect and fulfill the rights of its 70 million disabled citizens.

The group has also demanded that the professor should be released immediately and till his release, he be provided with facilities and support mechanisms that are accessible to him.

"The harsh and violent manner in which the arrest of Saibaba took place is unacceptable and condemnable in a democracy that claims to follow the law. The inhuman manner in which he is being kept in custody is even more intolerable. The torture and confinement of Saibaba must be ceased immediately," added Abidi. 

Source : Business Standard , 23rd May 2014

More Funds to Aid Physically Challenged, Says Minister - Thiruvanthapuram

Health Minister V S Sivakumar talking with a physically-challenged person after distributing appliances to the locomotor disabled in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday | MANU R MAVELIL

Health Minister V S Sivakumar talking with a physically-challenged person after distributing appliances to the locomotor disabled in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday


The government will work out an  action plan and allot more funds for  projects to help the physically challenged,” Health Minister V S Sivakumar has said.

He was speaking at the inauguration of  the distribution of appliances for the locomotor disabled at a function at the Directorate of Health Services here on Saturday.

“There are around 7.5 lakh physically  challenged in our state. Some of them are physically challenged by birth while some are physically challenged due to diseases or accidents. This programme is organised to help such people,” the minister said.  

Around 254 appliances worth Rs 25 lakh were distributed at the function organised by the Welfare Society for the Locomotor Disabled, under the Health  Department. The beneficiaries were selected from various camps conducted across the district.

“A project named AGE will be launched soon to provide free treatment to the people above 70 years. The people belong to both APL and BPL will benefit from the project,” the minister said.

The appliances distributed included artificial legs, wheelchairs and crutches. The distribution of appliances for the locomotor disabled will be conducted at Thrissur, Pathanamthitta, Kasaragod and Kollam also.

K Muraleedharan MLA, Health Department director P K Jameela, Welfare Society for the Locomotor Disabled secretary S Anilkumar, Public Health additional director A S Pradeepkumar, society executive member Vellanad P Nagappan Nair, District Medical officer K M Sirabudeen, General Hospital superintendent A Fazeelath Beevi, ward councillor Kumari Padmanabhan, Arogyakeralam state programme manager N Sreedhar and Arogyakeralam district programme manager B Unnikrishnan were present.

Source : The New Indian Express , 25th May 2014

Special darshan for the disabled, ailing and elderly - Thiruvanthapuram

In a goodwill gesture for the devotees of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the senior citizens above 60 years, the disabled and the ailing will not have to follow the general queue to enter the temple.
Instead they can take a special darshan from the North Gate entry close to Thiruvambadi nada to enter the Sreekovil of the Temple during 5 pm to 5.30 pm.

Temple executive officer K N Satheesh said that such a special arrangement for the elderly, the disabled and the ailing devotees in the evening will prevent them from standing in long queues and the hardships associated with it. It is being implemented since the last two days and is well-received by the devotees.

Temple manager D Venugopal said though a special darshan is arranged for the elderly devotees, disabled and the ailing in the evening, they will have to carry an identity card or some valid proof to avail the facility.

"Though the physically challenged in wheel chairs and those holding walking sticks can enter the temple, but they will not be permitted beyond Ottakalmandapam, as carrying any support structure is barred inside the main temple," he said. Meanwhile, counting of the devotees' contributions in 58 Kanikkavanchis since the last one week has been completed on Thursday and the total amount is accounted at Rs 83, 32, 268 lakh including Rs 6, 64, 397 lakh on a single day's counting on Thursday, a temple official said. It is the contribution for three months from January to March this year. From next week onwards, the contributions of devotees to the temple will be ascertained regularly. 

Source : TOI , 24th May 2014

Prison inmates, differently abled outshine regular students in Bengal - KOLKATA

Physically-challenged candidates and the students, who appeared for the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) examination from the correctional homes of the State, have performed better than the regular candidates, according to the results that were declared on Thursday.

While 82 per cent regular students passed the examination, the success rate of those who appeared from prison was 89 per cent and that of physically handicapped, 93 per cent.

A total of 58 examinees from the correctional homes wrote the Madyamaik Examination in 2014, of which 52 came out successful.

Baidya Das, an inmate of Jalpaiguri Central Correctional Home, has scored highest marks among those who appeared from the prisons. Convicted in a rape case, Mr. Das has been sentenced for 10 years.

Out of 10 inmates of Jalpaiguri Central Correctional Home, four passed in first division, five in second division, and one third division.

At Birbhum Correctional Home, a 53-year-old convict, Dulal Choudhury, who has been sentenced to nine years of imprisonment, passed the examination with good marks.

His daughter Nibedita Choudhury is a B.A final-year student with Bengali Honours at Sainthia College. “I was very excited and tensed about my father’s result. After hearing his marks, I am extremely happy for him. He has made us proud,” the daughter of the inmate said. Of 17 prisoners, who appeared for the examination at Medinipur Correctional Home, 13 passed. One prisoner wrote the exam from Purulia Correctional Home and passed.

Students with disabilities also fared better. Of the 165 visually-challenged students, who appeared for the exam, 158 passed. Behala Momen Mollah, a 16-year-old student of Calcutta Blind School, scored 67 per cent. He hails from a family of a daily-wage earner in Haroa, North 24 Parganas.

“I passed the Madhyamik examination with first division and scored 473 marks out of 700. I have planned to study commerce in the same school,” he said.

Nearly 103 students with hearing and speech impairment appeared for the exam and 85 of them were able to qualify it. 

Source : The Hindu , 23rd May 2014