Child disability is, in fact, a serious and challenging problem of the world. In India approximately one of every ten children is disabled. Among two crores twenty lakhs declared disabled in the whole population of the country, 35. 29 percent are children. The same situation stands at the global level. In the whole world more than sixty five crores people are disabled and among them approximately 40 percent are children. This state categorically reveals the seriousness of the problem.
We are perhaps well aware of the chief reasons of disability –child-disability in particular. In the main reasons for that even though we can count for improper diet to women during their pregnancies or in other words their malnutrition; improper looking after of children in their early age, which includes malnutrition again and sudden accidents, or strikes of natural calamities. However, all of these reasons are connected in one way or the other with negligence, recklessness, unconsciousness and lack of knowledge –illiteracy. There can be a few exceptions to this. Particularly, as mentioned already, those related to sudden accidents or strikes of natural calamities. Therefore, we can resolve these challenging problems to a large extent by imparting proper education –awakening, consciousness and knowledge. In this regard the utmost need is to realize responsibility by all of us and to work at social plane in particular that too getting free of prejudices in toto.
In this regard, however, the most important task relates to the availability of means for nutritive diet in particular. This is, in fact, the most challenging task. In India more than thirty three percent of the total population [37, 87, 87, 878 people in number] live under the poverty line. The daily income of each one of them is below rupees sixty five. The total number of such ones in the whole world is approximately 5, 60, 00, 00, 000. In such a situation crores of people are unable to meet two ends meals. Approximately, 22, 000 children die every day due to lack of food –hunger and malnutrition. This is really unfortunate –painful, terrible and a matter of serious concern. Child disability is to a large extent connected to this. Not only this, the problem of rehabilitation of handicapped children is also connected to it. It is a compulsion for those wish for proper cares for their children, but they cannot due to poverty. They are means-less and unprivileged. It is really a spot on the forehead of the whole of humanity.
Note: This piece is based on extracts of the speech of Professor Dr. Ravindra Kumar at a two days national seminar organized on education and rehabilitation of disabled children by the faculty of education, MJP Rohilkhand University, Bareilly [India] on March 22, 2013.