General Background of the Disabled Children in India

And while they are still young and flexible nothing is done to stimulate them. Every time I spoke to a mentally retarded or deaf and dumb child the parents or persons watching us made clear to me that it is of no use: the kid is ‘stupid’ or the kid can not hear anything, so why speak? And not only because they can’t understand English. It is obvious that the parents and the people in society don’t count a mentally retarded kid as a full person. I feel that mentally retarded children can not have any choice of them self. They even think a deaf and dumb child should not be spoken to.

If the child is deaf and dumb he’s attending normal class as well. This is in a way very special because seemingly the child is able to understand all of what is learned to the whole class but it is not the best solution. Special schools do exist for those children but the parents who were counseled trough DEET find this too expensive (or not necessary). The child is able to communicate within his or her own surroundings trough using their hands and lip reading but as soon as they leave their surrounding nobody will understand them and he will not understand the world around him. The parents do not care because for them this child will soon roll into some kind of low paid job. Therefore we need more counseling, gain more awareness and more financial support to help change the minds of the family of each and every disabled child.

A woman with a disability is of less value for marriage. A man who wants to marry a disabled woman can have a motive of doing so to achieve a better dowry: money and/or goods given by a bride’s parents to their son-in-law’s family. It is illegal these days but still widely exists in many arranged marriages. Many disabled women don’t get married at all. Someone who does marry a disabled person receive governmental subsidy for doing so. Men who are disabled are slightly better of in the sense that they can choose themselves by taking a poor girl without demanding dowry. Sometimes girls are just forced to marry a disabled boy and not that this is bad, in the view of arranged marriages, but let the boy at least have a good education so his general acquaintance will be better. And this applies to the girl as well, of course.

Another problem are the disabilities arising through an accident. Insurances are non existent. Government hospitals are free of costs but if an accident occurs, the patient has to pay the ambulance themselves. Also a caliper, crutches and such comes down to own expenses. While government hospital take care for surgery they do this often in a way that doesn’t built up to children with a born handicap and already low self-esteem. Surgery seems to be done in a rather quick manner without concerning about the esthetics. Self esteem is what many disabled children need.

In the case of an accident the child without too many sorrows and above all a healthy kid becomes all of a sudden a disabled kid. Probably without the stigma of an useless one but very probably his education is being delayed or stopped all together. Expenses are needed for their recovery. The idea of therapy is not embraced while something simple like a self-esteem course would be great for many children. Sometimes parents are taking a child’s disability not serious, even it can lead to serious infections.

What questions me is why there’re so many disabled children? Are the mothers taken good care for when they are pregnant? Do the mothers have a healthy diet or do they take medicines? Is there any influence whatsoever to have more risks to carry a disabled child? The answers are known only by those who receive education.

Government education for young children costs 300 rupees/€ 4.50 a year. The children receive a free meal each school day (plus 3 eggs a week). All the children we’ve interviewed get support from DEET in the form of school fee, notebooks and a school uniform. DEET is also helping with medical support and gaining their governmental right. To continue the possibility to give education to these children we need your support. It takes € 15 a month to help a child with medical support and education. If you consider helping a child, while you are working or studying, for a whole year you perhaps realize what great help you will be to this child. Most of the people we’ve interviewed are donated houses as well, they’re the poorest of the poor and without support from people like you an organization as DEET cannot continue as deeply as it does now. The problems, the stigmas and the deeply rooted thinking are here grabbed by its roots. I am overwhelmed what is reached and I see what differences are made in their surroundings, in family and in every individual I have spoken too.

In the office of DEET some spiritual rooted thinking’s are published and this one catches my eyes every time I walk in: ‘If not now when?’. You can make a difference.

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