THE WELCOME  ADDRESS ON THE  9TH SEPTEMBER 2017

Inclusive India Initiative, is an effort to spread awareness on intellectual & developmental disabilities under the flagship of National Trust.     

The 1st India International conference for and about persons with Down Syndrome was inaugurated by Dr. Surekha Ramachandran, President of Down Syndrome Federation, who welcomed Mr. Ajit Doval, the National Security Advisor, Mr. Yugi Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator and other speakers from around the world.

Down syndrome (DS or DNS), also known as Trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. It is typically associated with delayed physical growth, characteristic facial features and mild to moderate intellectual disability.

This conference is intended to help those afflicted and their families.

THE WELCOME  ADDRESS ON THE  9TH SEPTEMBER 2017

It is a pleasure to welcome you all to the 1ST India International conference for and about persons with Down Syndrome

It is an honor  to welcome Mr. Ajit doval, our National Security Advisor.

Sir, with your presence here, all of us with children with disabilities, feel safe and secure. Thank you sir for giving us your valuable time.

We welcome Mr. Yuri, the United Nations resident coordinator of India. Welcome sir!

To all my friends in the Asia pacific region and the speakers from around the world, a hearty welcome to the capital city of India, New Delhi. It is our pleasure to be able to interact with scientists and researchers in the field of DS, who have travelled here to share valuable information with us.

A hearty welcome to all the advocates who have been waiting patiently for the change to happen and working tirelessly for the same…

As always, we extend a warm welcome to all my colleagues and parents who share our common interest of improving the lives of people with Down syndrome.

Humsafar parivaar walon Namaskar…

This is a landmark India/international event, as we will be for the first time, celebrating people with Down syndrome, in New Delhi  and honor their courage and optimism.

One birth –  One child – Babli! This one amazing person, instilled courage and belief in one family, The Ramachandrans, who believed that change was possible. They saw a revolution that has transformed the world of Down Syndrome in India!

Research and  awareness has broken all the myths that came to be associated with these children. Not only has it led the parents to have new hope for the future of their children, it also has brought the professional, medical people and the bureaucrats into our fold. What a positive change in attitudes! What commitment and involvement from the parents too!

More importantly, the last 30 years have seen an evolved society that believes that  people with disabilities have tremendous potential.

Life is an experience. It teaches us many lessons. However one realizes that it is from adversity that strength is gathered. The Down Syndrome Association, set sail in November 1984 and in these 33 years, it explored and discovered the magic of the world of Down Syndrome.

This voyage, exploration and discovery began with 6 children and we did not have to travel too far to unravel the mystery that has been slowly and silently transforming these lives. This has reached out to over 5200 families and is continuing its journey into the remotest parts of India.

India has the largest population of people with Down Syndrome. 1 in 750 births, is a child with Down Syndrome which means 30,000 people with Down Syndrome are born every year. To bring each one into our fold is a mammoth task.

The parents and people with Down Syndrome came out and carved a niche for themselves in the society and we have all realized the beauty of that simple yet powerful world.

How did this happen?

Very simple! The social media! Apart from the web sites, the numerous whatsapp groups, the youtube downloads, the blogs, Facebook and telegram, we are all connected. Every child born even in the remotest part of the country is identified and added to the groups. Language is no longer a barrier. Each state has an identified parent support group that is easily accessible in the local languages. Monetary assistance for surgeries and medical expertise is also routed through these groups.

What does this year’s conference highlight?

This year’s conference will draw attendance from leading professionals in the area of Down syndrome from all over the world.  The spotlight will be on strategies to highlight and focus on solutions for the various challenges that people with Down syndrome face globally.

This conference also builds upon the fact that India and the international community need to open up for inclusion of people with Down syndrome into the mainstream. We intend to deliver a program consisting of research and scientific papers delivered parallely, along with hands-on workshops for people with Down syndrome.

This Conference pledges to deliver current and relevant information for everybody who is associated with Down syndrome – parents, siblings or caretakers.

It also provides opportunities for the various stakeholders to exchange ideas on trends in the world of Down syndrome and best practices to ensure a better life for them.

What would a truly inclusive society look like? What can we do to create and improve inclusion today? How are you working towards a more inclusive society? Which doors are open, which remain shut? 

While every nation on planet Earth continues to struggle with disability-related issues such as accessibility, employment, housing, rights, and more; the nation of India, very clearly has quite a long way to go before it ensures a sense of equality with relation to people with disabilities. The fact that India has signed ‘The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ is promising. One can hope that  India will pursue the Convention and find itself guaranteeing equality in society for their citizens with disabilities.

As a society, we must still deal with all forms of division and intolerance, but we believe that we have made huge strides in bringing about a better education dispensation for all and that such endeavours will ultimately lead to freedom and a better life for all.

On this day, let us reaffirm that persons with Down syndrome are entitled to the full and effective enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.  Let us each do our part to enable children and persons with Down syndrome to participate fully in the development and life of their societies on an equal basis with others.

Let us build an inclusive society for all.  Jai Hind

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s