A month-long programme to change perspective towards the disabled

To make sure that people with disabilities don't have to face any kind of rejection and ignorance, a Vashi-based Education, training and service (ETC) centre is spreading awareness across the city to change people's perspective towards disable individuals.

On the occasion of International day of person with disabilities, earlier this week, the centre along with the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has decided to organize a month-long awareness programme, with plays and puppet shows set to be conducted across various school, colleges, hospitals and other institutes in the city.

Varsha Bhagat, director of the ETC centre in Vashi, said, "The programme has been undertaken for a period of a month so that we can reach as many people as we can. The plays will highlight the importance of society's attitude towards disabled children and how perception of life would change for such children when they get acceptance from the society they live in. We have chosen educational institutes to cater large number of people."

Municipal officials also emphasized on the importance of giving recognition and better life to such children. "In order to make life easier for a disabled person, especially in public places, the NMMC is planning to provide better facilities by keeping washrooms in public areas including railway stations, bus stops and markets," said Navi Mumbai Municipal commissioner Dinesh Waghmare.

The centre, which was opened in 2007 by NMMC, provides services to children with disabilities over an area of 50000 sq. ft. at sector 30-A in Vashi. Currently about 105 professionals are working at ETC including special educators, audiologists, speech therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and social workers.

Presently 450 students with various disabilities are imparting special education at centre. According to NMMC officials, over 117 special students have been fully or partially mainstreamed till date. Approximately 1000 persons with different abilities are getting direct benefits every year.

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