Via The Hindu: HRD holds up U.P. rehabilitation plan for encephalitis-hit children. Excerpt:
The Uttar Pradesh government is awaiting clearance from the Centre for an ambitious project to rehabilitate children disabled by Japanese encephalitis (JE) and acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) that kill hundreds and handicap an equal number every monsoon season in eastern U.P. and the adjoining region.
Brain fever affects the nervous system, resulting in mental retardation and hearing impairment.
The proposal for educational rehabilitation of the mentally retarded and physically disabled children is stuck following objections raised by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, which said the project could not be included under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. For, the U.P. proposal is for exclusive institutional education, while the law provides for inclusive or home-based education for such disabled children.
The U.P project comes under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of JE and AES, which was based on the recommendations of the Group of Ministers late last year. Under the Rs. 3,350-crore programme, being implemented in 60 districts in the country in the first phase, the States were asked to conduct a survey of children disabled by the disease and recommend rehabilitation measures for them.
According to a preliminary survey conducted in the Gorakhpur Division, close to 6,500 children have been disabled. The U.P. proposal envisages the setting up of 65 centres — 20 of them in Gorakhpur district — where the children could be imparted special education and skill development, besides providing boarding facilities under the provisions of the RTE so that they do not become a financial burden to their families.