The team at Rourkela in association with Home and Hope Special School, Rourkela, SAIL, Rourkela and Team DSFI, Chennai came together to spread awareness, interact with parents and stakeholders to create a collective commitment towards providing an unrestricted environment for persons with Trisomy 21.

Team DSFI – Dr. Surekha Ramachandran, Counsellor and Guide, Dr. Prithie Rekhi, Vision Specialist, Dr. R. Sankar, Orthopedic Dr. N. Rangarajan, Psychiatrist, Mrs. Hemamalini V S, Special Educator and  Dr. Sharanya Krishnan, Speech Therapist

The events at Raipur started off with an informal camp with the few parents who had come early meeting up with the doctors and the team to help them assess the situation. This was followed by a full fledged inauguration ceremony with the Chief Guest being Mr. Atanu Bhowmick the Director in Charge of the entire Steel Plant. The dignitaries on stage were very warm and willing to support our self-advocates in their needs.

The chief guest at the event was inspired by the spirit demonstrated by the children and the motivational interaction that Dr. Ramachandran had with the parents. Dr. Ramachandran used communication as a tool to ensure that the stakeholders and parents discussed the facilities needed and provisions required in society to help our children become a part of mainstream society.

The effective planning and organization of the workshop by the volunteering team at Rourkela was truly appreciable. They were able to provide a lot of motivation to the parents present at the event.

After the workshop, an individualized family counseling and assessment session was conducted by the team to understand the current situation and conditions of the families and persons with Down syndrome. The team then suggested appropriate intervention programs to facilitate the family and person with Trisomy 21 to benefit from the available resources. Parents were also informed about ways to create an inclusive environment in the society to accommodate the children.

Emphasis was laid on sport and physical fitness as a part of therapy. Swimming was focused upon as both a healthy and recreational activity. Training the children with appropriate reinforcements was discussed. Various home based strategies to learn functional academics, personal and social skills for holistic development was also touched upon with the parents.

The evening saw a cultural extravaganza with the self-advocates from the state performing on stage and making it a grand finale to an exciting day. The next day too saw parents coming in to seek guidance from the DSFI team and absorbing what was told so that they could follow it in their respective homes.

The camp ended successfully with all the stakeholders – the parents, persons with Down syndrome, the special educators and the government willing to put in the efforts to encourage and provide equal platform to ensure good health facilities and financial assistance for health care. It was a very good experience for the DSFI team whose commitment and support is now being sought after across the country to help persons with Down syndrome lead better lives.