More than 200,000 children live with Down Syndrome in Bangladesh.
Despite this, our country continues to woefully neglect people with the developmental disorder, among many others.
Children born with disabilities have the potential to achieve great things, but require special care that caters to their different needs.
It’s a shame that such a significant portion of our population continues to be marginalised, both by the government and the society they live in. They continue to struggle to get access to basic needs such as education and health-care.
The government needs to formulate policies which would pave the path for the differently abled to function as part of our society. Special needs services such as counseling and workshops and ramps and elevators which allow the differently abled to physically gain access to places are crucial in ensuring that they are not excluded.
The problem doesn’t end there, of course.
A change in attitude within people, and our administration, is perhaps the most crucial element towards making sure that the culture of negligence and ignorance surrounding those with developmental issues is ended.
More awareness needs to be generated which highlights the myriad problems which the differently abled face on a daily basis, and that they, too, can function as contributing members of society.
Any nation that seeks to be a part of the global economy of the future must be aware of the possibilities residing among its most marginalised voices. It must realise that ensuring rights for the differently abled doesn’t just benefit individuals suffering from disorders, but also the rest of the country.
For Bangladesh to truly achieve its potential, the entire nation needs to come together. This can only happen by making those with disabilities a part of the national economy, and by introducing them into the mainstream.