Ummeed Child Development & Disability Centre in association with Cipla Foundation inaugurated new Therapy center in Parel, Mumbai. This center has been launched with the aim to provide training resources that will function along with clinical services for children with developmental disabilities. It includes children with autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Behavioral and Emotional challenges to name a few.
Childhood disability in India is very complex. As per 2011 Census of India, there are 7,862,921 children with disability in the below 19 year age group, among which 595,089 have intellectual disability. In the past 2 decades, there has been remarkable improvement in neonatal care and the accessibility to related services, yet subsequent developmental support systems are inadequate.
During the inauguration of new center; Dr.Vibha Krishnamurthy, MD Founder, Executive Director, Ummeed Child Development Centre said, “Ummeed is committed to helping children with disabilities reach their maximum potential and be included in society. Through our training center we will be able to train parents and build capacity in professionals and communities to achieve this goal. We hope this is the beginning of a movement in India to invest in the development of every child.
She further said “Although there are a few national institutes for children with specific childhood disabilities, these are not enough to cater to the increasing number of children with developmental or intellectual disability. Developmental disabilities begin anytime during development up to 22 years of age and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime. It calls for more such centers of “Ummeed”.
People with developmental disabilities have problems with major life activities such as language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living. The new training facility started by Ummeed is built on a 3000 sq ft premises in Parel and will work towards, sensitization and awareness about developmental disabilities amongst all stakeholders. It also provide parent training that will support parents to learn about disability, advocate for their children and support their child’s development further. In 2015-16 Ummeed trained 750 participants and conducted sensitization programs to almost 1000 participants.
Bollywood actor, Abhishek Bachchan, who had dyslexia as a child, said, “Initially, I was not aware of my condition, I started thinking that I am not good at spelling and maths, till I almost managed to tackle the problem with help of my school I was not made aware that I had dyslexia. This helped me to cope better with the disability. As there is a certain amount of stigma in India around such disabilities, educating parents is essential. They need to understand that it is not a disease, rather express understanding and compassion towards the child to cope with the problem. Initiative taken by Ummeed is a ray of hope for the current generation.”
“Ummeed is touching just the tip of the childhood disability iceberg in India, which at least has become visible now. India needs at least a thousand Ummeeds,” said Dr Raju Khubchandani, Director, Pedeatrics, Jaslok Hospital.
Rumana Hamied, CEO Cipla Foundation, said, “Cipla Foundation is proud to partner with Ummeed in setting up this unique training centre that will share best practices, increase awareness in our communities and support professionals and parents across India to help children with disability achieve their full potential.”
About Ummeed Child Development Centre:
Ummeed, meaning ‘hope’, is a non-profit organization set up in 2001 by Dr. Krishnamurthy with the objective of helping children with developmental disabilities or at high risk for disabilities, reach their maximum potential and be included in society. Ummeed achieves this by working in collaborative teams, creating and following best practices, empowering families, building resources in the community, participating in advocacy as well as working with children and families from all sections of society.