Mentally challenged children were god’s children and they should not be considered a burden by their families,” said G.M. Akbar Ali, Judge, Madurai Bench of Madras High Court here on Wednesday.

Addressing parents of children with mental disabilities, Mr. Ali said people should never look down upon such children as they also formed part of the society.

Some of the anxious parents of mentally challenged children, who took part in the fourth anniversary of Free Legal Aid Clinic, expressed concern over the future of their children after their death. V. Ramasubramanian, Madras High Court Judge, said there was no scientific answer to the question of what would happen to the children after the death of their parents.

However, things would change and a time will come when they would have access to good education and a secure future as in the case of other children, he added.

Mr. Ramasubramanian observed that there was not much awareness of mental disability and mental illness in the society.

As per a report presented on the occasion, 98 persons received guardianship, 165 received disability certificates, 140 got free treatment, 53 got their property disputes settled, 59 got their parents’ pension, nine marital disputes were settled and 41 received counselling.

Earlier, during an interaction with the Judges, parents of mentally challenged children sought guidance on legal issues pertaining to guardianship, family pension benefit, need for institutional care for destitute and so on.

The Free Legal Aid Clinic, with the support of Madurai District Legal Services Authority, functions on the premises of M.S. Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation in K.K. Nagar between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

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