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Award recognizes achievers who beat cerebral palsy

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

To bring about sensitivity in society, about what is becoming  the largest cause of disability in the country, an award ceremony to recognize special achievers among people with cerebral palsy was organised by ADAPT (formerly Spastics Society of India) yesterday.

It is the 7th edition of ADAPT Achievement Awards, organised to coincide with the World Cerebral Palsy Day (October 6). The occasion also marked the 45th Founders Day of ADAPT (Able Disabled All People Together).

Special achievers among people who have been suffering from cerebral palsy, a non-progressive condition, but became experts in their respective careers, were felicitated. Among the awardees was Satyam Rastogi from Uttar Pradesh who is studying to be a doctor and Vidhi Sharma, ADAPT Alumni who is running a successful marriage bureau for people with disabilities. Mrs Meera Bung from Aurangabad, who is the mother of a child with cerebral palsy was also felicitated.

Disability rights activist and author from Adapt, Malini Chib was honoured on the first global Cerebral Palsy Day Award for ensuring rights and entitlements of persons with the condition. Conferred by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Australia, the award recognizes work of projects or campaigns that have achieved progress in improving the lives of people with cerebral palsy and their families at a community, national or international level.

This year's nominees come from various fields and across ages. The youngest nominee was just 10 years old and got a special appreciation certificate. The nominees have excelled in academics to become lawyers, doctors and MBA professionals.

Dr Shabnam Rangwala, Head Therapy Services at ADAPT, who is part of the WCP Global Committee and also the coordinator for WCP India Committee says “India as always is a forerunner and despite all our challenges we beat the world. Cerebral Palsy is very aptly said to be ‘an intelligent mind trapped in a disobedient body’. Even with this disobedient body, the determination and grit of people with CP is to be marvelled at. This has shaped my life until now and I thank each and every one of my clients (as we do not refer to them as patients) for their contribution in my life.”

ADAPT set up Awards for Cerebral Palsy under the WCP banner seven years ago. The WCP – Global Awards, with support from pharmaceutical major Allergan, were initiated this year.

"There is general apathy in the society among people with cerebral palsy. The society needs to understand that cerebral palsy can be rectified with early diagnosis, care and the right treatment. There are lot of therapies and treatments available these days which can make such a person recover almost completely and lead a near-independent life. Apart from traditional therapies, the use of Botulinum Toxin injections is also found to be really effective," said Dr Taral Nagda, Chairperson, WCP – India.

A shift in the mindset of the society is required to understand and give recognition to these children who are not able to control some of the muscle functions. Contrary to this perception, there are many people who were suffering from cerebral palsy in their childhood but are doing well professionally and are leading near-independent lives.

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