They will get national identity card, assistive devices free of cost

Chennai School in Vadapalani is a few metres away from the residence of Sanjay Kumar(6). Yet he was not on the rolls of any school. His cerebral palsy with mental retardation was the justification given by his parents for not sending him to school.

After the screening camp for such children conducted by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in Chennai Schools in various parts of the city recently, his parents have agreed to send him to the Chennai School near their home.

“Many such parents are not aware that the children can be admitted to mainstream schools,” says V.Vijayapriya, a therapist with SSA. The parents of Sanjay said that they did not enrol him in school mainly on account of the fact that they were unable to take him to a special school far away, she adds. “It was difficult to carry him to a special school at a distance. The problem has been solved after he has been admitted to the Chennai School adjacent to our house,” said S.Parimala, the student's mother.

Many parents do not know that admitting children with disability to mainstream schools can have a positive impact, says P.Kamala, a teacher of Chennai School. She cites the example of S.Aravind (9) who was admitted to the school a few months ago with hyperactivity. “He is learning more from his peers than from the teachers. His learning ability has improved considerably. He is able to concentrate well,” she adds.

More than 2,400 children with disability have been screened during the first phase in the city so far. The children at the screening camp would receive national identity card for the persons with disability, assistive devices or surgical correction free of cost. The first phase of screening has been completed for all zones of the city last week. The final screening on Friday was held at Chennai School, Rama Street near Valluvar Kottam. The second phase of screening would begin next month. Any child with disability irrespective of the income limit of their parents may make use of the screening camp for obtaining national identity cards or other assistance pertaining to the right to education, said Assistant Project Officer of SSA A.Samadhanam. Ration card with four photographs of the child are the requirements for taking part in the screening. Persons with disability from areas not part of the Chennai Corporation also participated in the screening, said Corporation Joint Commissioner (Education) T.N. Venkatesh.

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