Specially-Abled Children Prone To Sexual Abuse, Experts Say

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SRINAGAR: On the eve of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, experts in Kashmir have said that children with disabilities are more vulnerable to sexual abuse than normal children.

Sculptures made by the specially-abled artist

The assertion was made at an awareness programme organized by Learning Edge Center for Autism and Early Intervention (LECAEI) on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 2020.

LECAEI was launched in Kashmir in 2019 and is the first institute which provides best in class facilities that supports in making a positive difference in the lives of children with autism and their families in Kashmir

“Children with disabilities are four times more prone to sexual abuse than normal children,” said Dr Khawar Khan Achakzai, Registrar Internal Medicine at SMHS Hospital while speaking at the event organised at Royal Springs Golf Course in Srinagar.

The aim of LECAEI is to provide all the required early intervention therapies using advanced technologies and equipment which otherwise are not readily available for autistic children in Kashmir. The Centre has been established for children with autism and other early interventional disorders such as ADHD, Downs Syndrome, Intellectual Disability, Developmental Delay, Learning Disability, Locomotive Disability, Early Intervention for Specially Abled Children and Cerebral Palsy.

The event was organised in collaboration with Royal Springs Golf Course, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation, Landmark Mughal Darbar, CP Advertisers, Hashtag Events and Cash n Carry.

Appreciating the efforts of LECAEI, Sarmad Hafeez (IAS) Secretary Tourism said that such ventures are the need of the hour and the government is ever willing to help individuals and organisations that work for the benefit of the deserving sections of society.

Nuzhat Gul, Secretary Royal Springs Golf Course said that centres like LECAEI will serve as a source of solace in place like Kashmir where a lot of stigma is associated with disabilities people find it difficult to seek help for such issues.

A child enrolled at LECAEI reciting a poem at the event

Parents of autistic children enrolled at LECAEI praised the efforts of the management and staff and said that efforts like these will go a long way in helping specially-abled children live a life of dignity and honour.

Javed Tak, a specially-abled himself who also runs Humanity Welfare Trust, highlighted the lack of awareness and infrastructure within the administration, which reflects in the non-availability of ramps and washrooms for the specially-abled persons in several government buildings.

Mufti Adnan, an Islamic scholar, said on the occasion that religion puts a special responsibility on the society to take care of the disabled persons and ensure that they don’t suffer at any level.

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