The Special Child Trust
The Special Child Trust was formed as a not-for-profit organization on 14th November 2008.
It has been set up as a national platform to raise awareness and funds for children with special needs.
Special needs encompass a variety of conditions such as Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders, and other such learning disabilities.
These disabilities are neurological disorders that manifest in early childhood and can be characterized by persistent impairment in social interactions, aberrant communication skills and abnormalities in behaviour patterns.
Current situation of special needs in India:
There is a tremendous lack of awareness and misunderstanding about autism and other learning disabilities among medical professionals, who may either misdiagnose or under diagnose the condition.
The needs of special children in India are not being met in either the regular or special education systems due to lack of trained special educators and therapists.
In addition, there are not enough services to meet the needs of children and adults with special needs in India that can help integrate them with the mainstream environment.
This field also faces the problem of retaining good professionals and therapists in the country, who chose to go overseas due to more attractive salaries.
There is also an urgent need to begin planning homes and centers for these children when they become adults.
Furthermore, awareness needs to be created in order to sensitize the general community and families of special children who often ostracize and abandon special children due to social and economic factors.
The current condition of special needs in India can be attributed to lack of awareness, insufficient resources and ineffective channels of monetary deployment.
Hence, the need to develop an effective and professional organization that would be able to meet the economic, social and cultural challenges faced by the field of special needs became imperative.
As a result, the Special Child Trust was built on the premise that a legitimate not-for-profit organization would bolster the existing work being carried out in the field, and allow related parties to join forces in order to improve the current situation of special needs in India.
Mr. Anand Sharma is the Minister of Commerce for the Government of India.
Mr. Arun Kapur is the Director of The Vasant Valley School in New Delhi.
Mr. Sameer Nayar is the Head of Credit Suisse's Real Estate Finance business for the Asia Pacific region.