06/08/2009 11:22 PM | Staff Report
Dubai: The Consulate General of India, Dubai, is to launch a new community initiative, the Society for Advocacy and Awareness Towards Holistic Inclusion, or SAATHI, this month.
The members of SAATHI are people with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, professionals working in the field and volunteers.
Dr Maryam Mohammad Mattar, Director General of the Community Development Authority in the Government of Dubai and Venu Rajamony, the Consul General of India, will be inaugurating the event at the Indian Consulate Auditorium at 4pm on Friday.
The group aims to facilitate the inclusion of individuals of all ages with disabilities in society and to empower such people by providing information, training, mentoring, counselling, respite care and a forum for networking.
It also plans to act as an advocacy group to highlight requirements of special needs families and make society aware of rights of persons with disabilities.
Dr Saroj Thapa, who is spearheading the group, said: "SAATHI will provide a much-needed service to the community by collaborating with local authorities in promoting interests of persons with special needs, giving opportunities to persons with special needs to voice their opinions, show-case their special talents and potential and providing a common platform for all groups and individuals working in the field of disability to network for the benefit of the whole community."
The launch will be followed by an interactive session with experts in the areas of special education, speech therapy, physical therapy, counselling, educational computer games, nutrition and other relevant fields.
Information on various summer camps and activities for special needs children will also be available, some of which are free of charge.