People around the world with Cerebral Palsy have known to live a quality life- but for the 3/1000 people that suffer from cerebral palsy in India, daily living is a challenge. Cerebral palsy is often misunderstood and judged.
On the evening of Cerebral Palsy day on 6th Oct, Arman Ali, executive director of NCPEDP (national center for the promotion of employment of disabled people) urged both government and civil society to work towards greater acceptance and accessibility for children and adults with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy is a complex, lifelong disability. It primarily affects movement, but people with CP may also have visual, learning, hearing, speech, epilepsy and intellectual impairments. It can be mild – a weakness in one hand – to severe – where people have little control over movements or speech and may need 24-hour assistance. The global incidence of cerebral palsy is about 15-20% of physically disabled children- roughly 17 million people.
Arman Ali, Executive Director, NCPEDP says, “People with cerebral palsy have a very difficult life and with a disobedient body there are hardly any services available in India, barring a few metros and smaller cities. It is limited to an urban phenomenon as far as services are concerned. There is hardly any awareness generated about the services and the kind of life they lead which inherently also affects the family. Parents who have children with cerebral palsy give their entire life towards care. The fight for survival is heart-wrenching— it’s imperative we recognize the need for the right to quality life and health for people with cerebral palsy.”
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for CP but there are ways that can help manage symptoms. Accessibility is key to making the lives of people with cerebral palsy better. India is lagging when it comes to educational and vocational training Programmes for people/children with cerebral palsy.
- Education must be inclusive —Use of technology in the shape of special aids and appliances, computer-assisted instruction and development of teaching and learning aids.
- We need to reach the rural population with more intensive and workable programs keeping in mind the challenges of cerebral palsy in accordance with the rural environment.
- Every child with cerebral palsy should receive opportunities irrespective of socio-economic profile or geographic location.
The day was first celebrated by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) and the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) in 2012. The theme for 2019 is “move as one”, encouraging people to benefit from physical activity and sports. World over, those with cerebral palsy are being encouraged to engage in physical activity at 1 pm for 30 minutes and post on social media with the #CPMoveAsOne.