Specially Abled Children

Specially Abled Children
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It has come to public notice that the administration has spent merely Rs. 8 on specially abled children or children with special needs per day. The number of these specially abled children is over thirteen thousand in Jammu and Kashmir. Even on the fund spending, almost half the specially-abled children, or Children with Special Needs (CWSN), in the state were left out of the benefits, as per the official figures. With a total of 23,341 CWSN identified in the state in financial year 2017-18, only 13,321 were approved for the funding with just Rs 3,000 per head spent on them during the whole year. Official figures revealed that out of the 23,341 CWSN, only 17,705 were enrolled in government schools. This is sad because specially abled children, already at the receiving end of fate, should receive special care and attention from not only society but also from the administration. This is not to say that children with special needs must be singled out for attention which can make them feel “inadequate” in more than one senses of the term. But, the prosaic fact of the matter is that these children suffer from some debility that makes them lead less than wholesome lives. It is, however, here that the challenge lies. Children with special needs or specially abled children must be taken and given special care of yet, at the same time, they should not be made to feel that they suffer from any debility. A level playing field must be created for CWSN’s so that they are able to live as productive members of society who live wholesome and fulfilling lives. Society has roles, and functions beyond this to play. Specially abled children must not be victims of taboos, discrimination and/or prejudice. This role falls on society. There is also a role for parents. At times, physical or any other form of debility in specially abled children is not recognized in time thereby creating issues for these children for the rest of their lives. Parents, therefore, must be alert and prepared to recognize incipient issues and/ or signs that suggest a particular child is specially abled. This recognition can be very useful in the sense of an “early warning sign” that can then be remedied, on time. All in all, specially abled children are indeed special, in the sense, of requiring more care from powers that be, society and parents. It is in sync, and together, with all stakeholders working together, that these children can live productive and fulfilling lives.

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