Differently abled youth gets best employee award from CM

Joel Shibu Varkey receives the award from Chief Minister M.K. Stalin in Chennai.  

A Tiruchi youth suffering from Down’s Syndrome has been recognised as the ‘Best employee with intellectual disability’ for 2021 by the State Government.

Twenty-five-year-old Joel Shibu Varkey, a diploma holder from Bharathidasan University’s Centre for Differently Abled Persons, who works as an assistant coordinator at The Dolphin Special School and also runs an optical shop in Tiruchi, was honoured with a medal and citation by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin at a special ceremony to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Chennai on Friday.

Mr. Joel was supported well by his parents and teachers all along.

“Joel’s achievement is a proud moment for all of us, and he is thrilled that Chief Minster Mr. Stalin himself did the honours,” said his father Shibu Varkey, an eye surgeon in the city. “It was a milestone for Joel because he was in the group of people who were being celebrated for their accomplishments.”

Dr. Varkey also hoped that the award would spur a change in attitude towards persons with disability. “Social exposure is as important for children with special needs, as for any other child. But unfortunately many parents and caregivers tend to hide the fact that their wards may require professional intervention,” he said.

“Mainstream educational institutions should also include special needs children, and train their staff to take care of them. This will help to create more equal representation for all children,” he contended.

Economic preparedness was also an important aspect of taking care of special needs children. “Children with disabilities require many kinds of therapies on a daily basis, and all of it costs money. Parents and educators need to come together and create a forum for advocacy and raising funds,” said Dr. Varkey.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 4:58:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/disabled-youth-gets-best-employee-award-from-cm/article37848992.ece

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