In India, as in most countries, the health services available are focused on the prevention and treatment of diseases with the highest risk of mortality, neglecting those suffering of neuropsychiatric disorders.
In terms of disability, the legislation itself is lagging in the acknowledgment of what expressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007, of which India is among the first signatories.
In the state of Tamil Nadu (in the Southeast of India), there are more than 100.000 persons with mental disabilities, according to government sources (Open Government Data Platform India).
Malnutrition, problems during pregnancy and childbirth, inadequate medical care and risky environmental conditions, favor the occurrence of neuropsychiatric disorders since the birth.
Those children are not able to receive suitable medical or rehabilitation assistance. Relatives receive little support and no appropriate training to deal with the problems of their children, which instead could be mitigated, if not in part solved with a proper care.
Cittadinanza supports the Best New Life Shelter day care centre (BNLS), which provides rehabilitation and medical assistance for 35 children and young adults with severe neuropsychiatric disabilities in a suburban area of Vellore, a city of about 200.000 inhabitants in Tamil Nadu. The center was founded by Catherine Inbarajan in 2003, who was urged by her own personal needs as mother of a severe mentally retarded son with spastic tetraparesis.
The main diseases found are mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome and other multiple disabilities.
Every day children receive a complete and nutritious meal; upon individual rehabilitation programs, they access to physiotherapy, manual exercises, speech therapy, and behavioral rehabilitation. In addition, they get a basic education and take part to training classes, which prepare them to work in simple activities such as production of soap, envelops candles. Older kids are now involved in the management of a vegetable garden, which has been started in 2015 with the contribution of our supporters.
The operators of the center also involve the relatives and organize awareness campaigns, excursions, visits to libraries and public offices, sporting events and dance competitions.
Disabled people in India
Disabled people from 0 to 14 years old
Disabled people in Tamil Nadu
Disabled people from 0 to 14 years old in Tamil Nadu