Chennai

Down’s Syndrome poses no deterrent

Ramnath is all set to complete a Bachelor’s in Business Administration this year

The pride in K. Subramanian’s voice is evident as he talks about his son Ramnath being all set to complete college this year. “He is writing his final exams at the end of this year for a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration,” says the Chennai-based banker.

A rare feat

This is just one among the many achievements of Ramnath, who was born with Down’s Syndrome.

“It is rare for children with Down’s Syndrome to continue their education after school. My wife Usha and I were however very keen that he continue his education and enrolled him in a correspondence course,” Mr. Subramanian said.

Struggle for parents

While Ramnath studied in the SIET Dyslexia centre through his schooling years and cleared his board exams with 72.6%, Mr. Subramanian points out that ahead of World Down’s Syndrome Day on March 21 that it is still a struggle for many parents to enrol children who have Down’s Syndrome into regular schools.

“Many of these children are eager to learn and it is important that they be included in a regular school environment. Parents are also ready to help out with support that the children need in classrooms. There needs to be more awareness among school managements and willingness to create an inclusive environment,” he explained.

Lalita Ramaswamy, a Chennai-based tutor who has been working with Ramnath over the last seven years, said that he has an excellent memory and has always taken the initiative to study.

“With adequate support and guidance, it definitely is possible for children with Down’s Syndrome to continue studying if they wish to. I feel that awareness is slowly increasing here about the same,” she added.

Support system

Acknowledging the fact that Ramnath has a strong support system and that has enabled him to carry on his studies, Mr. Subramaniam said that it is important for job opportunities to be created for these children as well. “Most of them manage to study till Class X and they can be given clerical jobs or even set simple tasks such as updating passbooks in banks. More opportunities need to be given in work spaces so that they can become financially independent,” he added.

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Printable version | May 21, 2020 11:58:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/downs-syndrome-poses-no-deterrent/article26594615.ece

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