Mentally challenged children to participate in marathon

Staff Reporter
Bangalore: More than 25 children, who are part of Samruddhi, a community-based programme of the Association for the Mentally Challenged (AMC), will participate in the Bangalore Marathon to be held on May 31.
Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, AMC president K. Jairaj said the participation was aimed at supporting and strengthening the families of the mentally challenged in the city.

Community radio

Explaining about the initiatives taken up by AMC to guide and help parents of mentally challenged children, Mr. Jairaj said a multi-lingual community radio would be set up for a 90-minute interaction on a weekly basis to guide parents. Self help groups will be set up in different parts of the city to enable parents to share their views and support each other.
A directory of services will also be developed for use by families of mentally challenged people. Initially, it will cover services available in the city, he added.


Special runners prepare to race ahead

13 May 2009, 0001 hrs IST, TNN

BANGALORE: The Sunfeast World 10K Run on May 31 will have a special feature this year -- 25 special persons from the Association for the Mentally Challenged (AMC) will also run, with Bescom's support.

Not many recognize the speciality of these people, who spend most of their lives as children, and mental retardation is still subject of stigma and social boycott. But it's time to see them run ahead.

AMC also plans to create a comprehensive system to take care of all the stages and needs of the mentally retarded. This includes a community radio project in the city, that will kick-start soon.

Unlike in the West, mental retardation in India is not primarily genetic. It is a fall-out of poor ante-natal care, malnutrition, untreated epilepsy and others. The overall prevalence of mental retardation is between 1-3% with the rate of severe retardation at 0.3%. According to experts from AMC, there are 50,000 families with mentally retarded children in Bangalore.

"I have been associated with AMC for many years. This community is the most vulnerable because these children hardly have body-mind coordination. They don't even understand physical threats like fire. Currently, we have 200 children at AMC but imagine how many are deprived of care. Most from BPL families are just left on their own. I want to appeal to the corporate worlf to realize their plight and come forward for the cause," said principal secretary, energy department and AMC president K Jairaj.

Bescom employees, who are also likely to participate in the Sunfeast run, are supporting this cause for the first time. AMC members said they hope to get more attention from different sectors for these special people.

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