: Mumbai, June 15, 2021
Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Dr. Thawar Chand Gehlot, alongwith Ministers of State Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar & Shri Ramdas Athawale will virtually inaugurate fourteen Cross Disability Early Identification and Intervention Centres (EIC) in various parts of the country on Thursday (June 17, 2021) at 11 AM from New Delhi via video conferencing. This will include a the Mumbai centre in the premises of Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech & Hearing Disabilities (AYJNISHD (D), apart from centres located in 6 six national institutes and seven Composite Regional Centres (CRCs) spread in various states. A handbook on EIC for children with Disabilities (Divayangjan) will also be released in course of the online event.
These 14 centres will be unique in providing facilities such as developmental screening, assessments of cognition, hearing, vision and speech and therapeutic management of various disabilities in a child-friendly ambience. In every centre there are specific facilities of intervention for occupational and physiotherapy, speech therapy, early educational intervention and preparatory classes for school readiness. A special ‘Toys and Books Library’ is designed to provide the children with an interactive ambience. These centres will also promote a ‘healthy baby and healthy childhood’ program. This apart, exclusive breastfeeding rooms and play area will also be made available in these centres. The parent and professional partnerships form the core of EIC and hence a special ‘Family Education Room’ is available for the needy beneficiaries at the centre.
These centres will be catering to infants and children below 6 years of age as a newborn infant’s brain is said to develop up to 90% by the time the child attains five years of age. This follows a global approach to provide early stimulation to young children to help in reducing the effects of their impairments and also avert disabling conditions in their life. So ‘Catch Them Young’ is the mantra of these centres facilitating inclusive education for children with multiple disabilities. These centres are the result of the decision taken by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under the Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MSJ&E) to set up a ‘one-stop arrangement’ where all the disability services from assessment to intervention will be available for varying disabilities under one roof.
There are twenty-one disabilities listed in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act of 2016 and providing the services for all different children with disabilities, under one umbrella is the aim of these centres. Unlike most of the institutions working for disabilities which are ‘super-specialty centres’, these seven centres will cater to all the children with different disabilities under one roof, thereby reducing the burden of the parents on expenses and reducing the loss of time through one-stop arrangement and multi-professional approach.
These centres are now available at the national institutes in Mumbai, Chennai, Secunderabad, Delhi, Dehradun, Kolkata, Cuttack and also CRCs in Bhopal, Nellore, Kozhikode, Sundernagar, J&K, Lucknow & Naharlagun will cater to many children who are found to have overlapping effects of disability and some have multiple disabilities.
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