Persons with Disabilities (PWD) are among the most neglected people in India. Addressing long term problems faced by Persons with Disabilities has now become a major challenge. Among all disabilities, persons and the families of people suffering from various mental disorders (like mental retardation) are the ones who are most affected as there are very few organisations working in this area.
Residential facilities for adults with mental retardation are almost nonexistent. Mental retardation is a complex condition which may be caused by the interaction of various factors affecting the brain and the central nervous system. In about 75% of the cases, the exact cause is never known.
These are not contagious or Progressive. Unfortunately mental disorders cannot be cured by drugs or surgery. Severe mental disorders are highly stressful not just for the patients but also to their caregivers as well. The mentally retarded adults and their care givers are the most disadvantaged group in India.
Unfortunately despite all the possible efforts by the parents and care givers, there comes a stage in life where it is extremely difficult to take care of them. This generally happens when the children reach adult age. During this stage of life the child keeps gaining physical strength and becomes stronger while the parents loose strength and become weaker due to advancing age. This stage is the biggest challenge for the parents of mentally retarded children. They also start dealing with the perennial problem “Who will take care of my child after me?”.
ADHAR, an Association of the Parents of the Mentally Retarded Children, has been established expressly to address the above problems faced by the parents and care givers of adults with mental retardation.
Mental Retardation has been the most neglected area of disabilities on account of limited public awareness and lack of Government support. Mental Retardation has no easy and permanent treatment in medical science. This condition cannot be cured but can be managed by constant monitoring and medicines. It’s an mental disability and not a disease. A mentally retarded person needs support throughout his / her life. It’s very difficult for him / her to become completely independent in terms of physical, mental & financial capabilities. Hence, the result is, old parents of these mentally retarded persons are in nagging worry that “After us what? Who will take care of my special child?”