‘Inclusiveness vital for children to thrive’

Stressing the need to promote inclusiveness, Beena Koshy, professor and head of developmental paediatrics, Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, said that this was needed not just so that all children could live or survive, but for them to thrive and reach their potential.

She was delivering the fourth Air Vice Marshal V. Krishnaswamy Memorial Oration organised by the Madhuram Narayanan Centre for Exceptional Children on Thursday. “I would encourage everyone to take a pledge to promote inclusiveness within their homes, offices and immediate community,” she said.

In her oration titled ‘Reduction in disability and beyond’, Dr. Koshy said that she viewed the reduction of disability in three avenues — child specific, family specific and environment specific.

Speaking about the need for professionals, working with children with disabilities, to adopt a family-centric approach, Dr. Koshy said that it was necessary to speak to them, listen and involve them when a plan is chalked out for their child. “We have to be mindful that it is not as easy in India unlike in other places where support might be available financially. This is among other challenges that the parents and the child might have to face,” she said.

The 6th international conference and 16th national workshop ‘Towards inclusion: Evidence-based supportive practices in early intervention’ was inaugurated. “What is especially impactful is when we make inclusion, a driving principle for children. All of us should remember that each person has some unique value and this will take us in the right direction towards being inclusive,” said Robert Burgess, Consul General of the U.S. Consulate in Chennai.

The conference will be held on November 8 and 9.

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