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A walk in Goa to raise awareness about developmental disabilities

January 8, 2018

Over 80 people will be participating in a walk organised by the NGO Ummeed in Goa to raise awareness about developmental disabilities.

Set up in 2001, the goal of Ummeed is to help children with developmental disabilities reach their full potential and be fully integrated in society. The NGO has a team of professional trainers who offer support and guidance to these children and their family members.

Only 1 developmental paediatrician for 500,000 children in India

The walk is not just about generating funds but also creating awareness about the over 52 million children in India with developmental disabilities. This includes a range of physical and mental disabilities, including Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, mental retardation, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities. Out of this, nearly seven lakh are in Mumbai alone but not even a quarter have access to quality care despite the city being India's financial capital.

Children with such disabilities are often not diagnosed correctly. Without proper diagnosis or awareness on the part of the family or larger society, they end up marginalised and become dependent on their families completely.

Walk aims to inform, educate about different types of disabilities

The first walk by Ummeed was held in 2012 with just three participants. Over the years, this has become the NGO's flagship event for fund raising. Most of the walkers have been using the walk as an opportunity to reach out to their friends and family to donate funds for the NGOs.

In India, there are only a few organisations offering services to children with developmental disabilities, mainly due to lack of resources and ignorance.

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