Playing the piano is the favourite hobby of 21-year-old Neharika (name changed). Although she is affected with cerebral palsy, her intelligence is no less than any other child.
“She has passed the London School of Music's Grade I exams. She is now doing her Bachelor of Computer Applications in a reputed city college and I'm proud of her,” said Rabindran Isaac, her therapist at the Spastics Society of Karnataka.
Recalling how she was brought to the Spastics Society when she was less than a year old, Mr. Isaac stressed that early intervention was very important to manage children with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy, a brain disorder that affects mostly children, has become the most common cause of childhood disability in India. October 3 is being observed as the first National Cerebral Palsy Day by doctors, rehabilitation professionals, parents and people engaged in prevention and management of this impairment.
To mark the day, Governor H.R. Bhardwaj will flag off a walkathon in the city, comprising children living with cerebral palsy, their parents, doctors and various organisations working for the cause.
What is cerebral palsy?
This condition, which mainly occurs owing to interference in brain development, causes difficulty in movement, speech and sometimes learning. It occurs either in the womb or during birth, or even after two years of birth during which rapid development of the brain takes place.
It is estimated that there are over 25 lakh children and people in India with cerebral palsy, according to Ashok N. Johari, president, Indian Academy of Cerebral Palsy.
The National Cerebral Palsy Day will help in spreading awareness about this relatively lesser known but highly prevalent disorder, said another therapist at the Spastics Society.