A ‘National Conference on Down Syndrome’ was organised by the National Trust under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in New Delhi on March 26, 2018.
The conference was inaugurated by Dr. Kamlesh Kumar Pandey, Chairman of National Trust in the presence of Mukesh Jain, JS & CEO of National Trust, Dr. Surekha Ramachandran, Chairperson of Down Syndrome Federation of India and various stakeholders associated with Down syndrome.
The main objective of the conference was to provide excellent opportunities to the parents to obtain information about latest development in education and skilling and inclusive living of persons with Down syndrome.
• The conference provided a common platform to intellectuals from all walks of life to come together and exchange ideas and knowledge on Down syndrome to enable a positive change in the people with Down syndrome.
• People with Down Syndrome and their parents were also invited to share their inspirational stories.
• The conference included assessment and screening sessions for the children with Down syndrome.
• It also included panel discussions on various topics related to the disorder and question-answer sessions with senior doctors of reputed hospitals.
• A book titled ‘Twilights Children’ based on the lives of people suffering from Down syndrome was also released on the occasion.
What is Down syndrome?
• It is a genetic disorder and the most common autosomal chromosome abnormality in humans, where extra genetic material from chromosome 21 is transferred to a newly formed embryo.
• These extra genes and DNA cause changes in development of the embryo and fetus resulting in physical and mental abnormalities.
• The children diagnosed with the condition are likely to have delayed development and behavioural problems.
• The syndrome has no cure and it occurs in about one per 1,000 babies born each year.
The United Nations General Assembly decided to observe March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) on December 19, 2011.
Since then, every year the day is officially observed by the UN to create awareness about people with Down syndrome.
The National Trust
It is a statutory body set up by an act of parliament for the welfare of persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
Since its inception, the trust has been running various schemes and programmes for the welfare of these persons with disabilities.
The trust creates awareness among the general public by organizing various workshops, seminars and conferences on the disabilities and capabilities of such persons.