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In an effort to increase support for children with disabilities, the Association of Early Intervention for Children with Disabilities gave a tour of its facilities to H H Sayyida Dr Muna bint Fahd al Said; H E Dr Yahya al Maawali, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Social Development; and representatives of Khimji Ramdas Group on Monday.
The guests were briefed on what the association offers to children with disabilities as well as its achievements and the challenges it encounters.
Sayyida Dr Muna said, “We need to be with children with disabilities to be able to follow their progress and learn about their needs. Children with disabilities can be productive if they are given a hand, and we need to spread awareness on this. The education programme for teachers should include dealing with disabled children. I know several schools that refuse to enrol students with disabilities because they don’t have teachers qualified for it. But these children are part and parcel of our community, and it is very important to engage them with society.”
Kanak G Khimji, director, Khimji Ramdas, said the officials found the tour impressive. “The association releases parents from the tension of dealing with the children the whole day.”
Pankaj K Khimji, director, Khimji Ramdas, said, “It was very emotional. There is something magical about this place. These children are God’s gift to us, and it is our duty to look after them.”
He said that it is important to ensure that these children are not isolated in the future. “When the privileged help the underprivileged, there will be a balance in society.” He urged leading corporations and organisations in Oman to play a significant role in the community.
H E Dr Maawali said the children can be turned into productive citizens in the future if they are given better training. “With better training and rehabilitation services, we can transform many cases of disability into examples of productivity. Now we have a good coordination with the Ministry of Manpower and have a clear plan on employing disabled people. We began with a batch of nearly 130 people who were accepted for vocational training.”