Those with Down Syndrome go through multiple emotional and physical challenges. Our society even today finds it difficult to accept them and even treat them differently. Every year, World Down Syndrome Day is observed on March 21 to raise awareness about the condition
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The life of those with Down Syndrome has not been easy. Besides hampered physical and mental development, the kind of ill-treatment and discrimination they are subjected to just worsens life for them. They are often face challenges while accessing basic rights like education, quality health services or the right to earn.
According to the United Nations, each year around five thousand children are born with Down Syndrome. On this day, the international agency invites all its member states as well as relevant international organisations to have an in-depth and fruitful conversation for building a better life for those with Down Syndrome.
What is Down Syndrome?
Down Syndrome is a genetic condition caused when anyone is born with an extra chromosome. People with Down Syndrome have some common features like small ears, a flat nose, eyes slanted up at the outer corner, protruding tongue, short neck, small hands and feet, etc. Down Syndrome has no cure and is a lifelong condition. Nevertheless, there are treatments in place which, if received at the right time can help individuals live a meaningful life.
Every year World Down Syndrome Day is observed on March 21. The United Nation General Assembly declared March 21 World Down Syndrome Day in December 2011 and it began observing the day from 2012 onwards.
The 21st day of the third month has been selected as the designated date because the syndrome occurs due to the triplication of the 21st chromosome.
Theme in 2023
The theme for World Down Syndrome Day 2023 is ‘With Us, Not For Us.’ The motive of this theme is to ditch the old charity model and adopt a more human rights-based approach. This theme encourages people to advocate for equality. It seeks to view people with disabilities as having the right to be treated fairly, instead of viewing them as objects of charity, pity, and someone who needs to constantly rely on others for support.
Due to their condition, most of them may often face challenges in everyday life. This year’s theme urges people to change. Those with Down Syndrome must have the freedom to make their own choices and those supporting them must do things ‘with’ them, not ‘for’ them.
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