New centre for children with developmental disabilities inaugurated in Mumbai

The center provides assessment and therapies for children with developmental disabilities, such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Behavioural and Emotional challenges

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(Left to Right): Rumana Hamid, CEO of Cipla Foundation and Dr Vibha Krishnamurthy, MD Founder, Executive Director, Ummeed Child Development Centre with Sanket Gala, a cognitively disabled child at the inauguration on Wednesday in Mumbai

Ummeed Child Development Centre, along with Cipla Foundation, started a new centre for children with developmental disabilities in Parel (Mumbai) on Wednesday. The centre is located in Trust House building.

“The aim is to provide training, along with clinical services for children with development disabilities,” said Dr Vibha Krishnamurthy, MD Founder, Executive Director, Ummeed Child Development Centre.

She said the centre will train parents and build capacity in professionals and communities to help children with disabilities reach their maximum potential and make them a part of the society.

“Although there are a few national institutes for children with specific childhood disabilities, these are not enough to cater to the increasing number of children with developmental or intellectual disability. Developmental disabilities begin anytime during the development stage up to 22 years and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime. So, there is a need to start more such centres,” said Krishnamurthy.

The center provides assessment and therapies for children with developmental disabilities, such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Behavioural and Emotional challenges to name a few.

Doctors say people with developmental disabilities have problems with major life activities, such as language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living.

Childhood disability in India is very complex. As per 2011 Census of India, there are 7,862,921 children with disability in below 19 age group, in which 5,95,089 children have intellectual disability. In the past two decades, there has been a remarkable improvement in neonatal care and accessibility to related services, yet subsequent developmental support systems are inadequate.

Speaking at the inaugural event on January 11, Dr Raju Khubchandani, Director of Paediatrics at Jaslok Hospital said, “Ummeed is touching just the tip of childhood disability iceberg in India, which at least has become visible now. India needs at least a thousand Ummeeds and more people like Vibha who work on such issues.”