Campaign to make Chandigarh a Down Syndrome free city on the Occasion of “World Down Syndrome Day” 21st March, 2016

Chandigarh Down Syndrome Society in association with Genetic Centre, Government Medical College and Hospital-32, Government Rehabilitation Institute for Intellectual Disabilities (GRIID)-31 Chandigarh and Dialogue Highway celebrated World Down Syndrome Day on 21st march 2016 by organizing a vibrant carnival from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM for Down Syndrome children at College Building, GMCH-32, Chandigarh for the first time in Chandigarh.
The larger objective of organizing the Programme was to create awareness regarding prevention of disability. Among various causes of intellectual disability, the Down Syndrome is one of the leading cause of intellectual disability and there is a wide scope of detection during the pregnancy and thus the possibility of prevention. The advancement in recent technology had helped the Doctors to pick-up the disorder in more than 90% of pregnant ladies and thus giving them an option of taking the final decision. Thus, Chandigarh can plan to be first Down Syndrome free city in the country. The experience of Genetic Centre shows that over the last 9 years majority of the pregnant ladies where the diagnosis of Down Syndrome was confirmed finally opted for the medical termination of pregnancy as in the current nuclear family system no one is willing to take care of the child with disability through out their life time.
In fact awareness campaign was started two weeks back and Dr. Gurjit Kaur, Consultant Incharge, Genetic Centre personally delivered talks at Post Graduate College for Girls Sector-11 Chandigarh, Govt. Rehabilitation Institute for Intellectual Disabilities Sector-31, College of Nursing GMCH-32, Dev Samaj College of Education Sector-36, Govt. College of Commerce & Business Administration Sector-50, Dev Samaj College of Women Sector-45, SD College Sector-32 and Government Polytechnic College of Women, Sector-10, U.T., Chandigarh, Dr. Gurjit Kaur addressed more than 2,000 adolescent who will be the future parents and asked them to join the Down Syndrome Society to launch a campaign to make the Chandigarh a Down Syndrome free city. This will be a step towards making Chandigarh a smart city. In her talk she discussed about commonly existing Genetic Disorders, which can be picked up during pregnancy and immediately after birth, and are leading cause of Mental Retardation. Every year 15-17 children are born with Down syndrome in UT, Chandigarh. The prenatal screening of Down syndrome is ongoing at Genetic Centre and till date more than 30,000 pregnant ladies have been screened and out of them 13 cases of Down syndrome were picked.
The special children and their parents were welcomed by Professor B.S. Chavan, HOD, Genetic Centre and guided them how to take care of emotional and health needs of their kids. The CHIEF GUEST for the celebration was Honourable Deputy Commissioner of U.T. Chandigarh, Shri Ajit Balaji Joshi. Around 250 children with Down syndrome along with their parents attended the carnival. Various fun activities like fun games, fashion show, fancy dress and dance competition were held. In the fun games category, Master Ashnoor stood first in the “Ball in Basket” competition, Master Bunty stood first in the “Object assembly” competition, Master Deepanshu stood first in the “Hit the cone” competition and Miss simarpreet and Master Honey stood first in the “Musical chair” competition for junior and senior group respectively. In the solo performance dance competition Miss Jasmeet kaur stood first and in group dance category, the group of GRIID-31 stood first. Master Raja won the Mr. Vibrant title, Miss Ankona won the Miss Vibrant title and Miss Elma won the “Best dressed” title in the fancy dress competition.

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