Monday, August 31, 2009

State in India adds specialized buses for children with muscular dystrophy

From The Hindu in India:

Two specially-designed buses will be operated to cater to the needs of children with muscular dystrophy in the recently-inaugurated model school in Chennai, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment D. Napoleon has said.

Speaking at the inaugural of the Vocational Training Centre for special children started by the Integrated Action Trust (INTACT) at Kariyamanickam near here on Thursday, Mr. Napoleon said the model school, first of its kind in the country, provided all facilities for children with special needs.

The special platforms in the two buses would help the children board them in their wheel-chairs.

One of the buses, donated by a philanthropist Selvam, was being re-designed. Transport Minister K.N. Nehru would sanction the second bus, he added.

Mr. Napoleon said he was fully aware of the problems of children with muscular dystrophy, as one of his sons was afflicted with it. Such children needed more comforts and special care.

He pointed out that not all parents would be able to afford facilities for such children. He appreciated the role played by the non-governmental organisations in supplementing the government’s efforts in this field.

Mr. Napolean appreciated the efforts taken by Director of INTACT Vocational Training Centre Thomas Ebinezer in imparting vocational skills to special children.

District Disabled Rehabilitation Officer R. Shyamala said the training centre had been constructed at a cost of Rs. 18 lakhs, including Rs. 5 lakh sanctioned by the Department of Rehabilitation of the Disabled. The centre would impart vocational skills to 30 children, including 15 girls.

Mr. Ebinezer urged Mr. Napolean to increase the pay scale for the teachers.

Chairperson of Mannachanallur Panchayat Union Sita Ilangovan was among those present.