Down Syndrome Day in Georgia
By Messenger Staff
Friday, March 24Annually on March 21 the world marks the Down Syndrome Day, the day of the loveliest people whose rights are sometimes violated generally because of lack of awareness.
The aim of marking such days as a rule is to raise the people’s awareness on certain issues and protect the interests of those who really need this.
It is important the state to care for the realization of the rights of people with Down syndrome from an early age, creation of services necessary for them, promotion of independent living and availability of social/healthcare programs and quality inclusive education, Georgia’s public defender Ucha Nanuashvili says.
Ombudsman says the agenda of Georgia includes the strengthening of the families of children with Down syndrome, as they are often at risk of abandonment.
In addition, the persons placed in state care institutions or other services still cannot receive proper assistance.
“The public stigma and wrong attitude prevents people with Down syndrome from enjoying their opportunities and effectively participating in the processes ongoing in the country. Despite the fact that the voice of people with Down syndrome is becoming stronger in Georgia, the state efforts to satisfy their needs and interests are not sufficient,” the ombudsman stated.
Ucha Nanuashvili reminded the state of its role and functions and called on it to respond to the voice of people with Down syndrome and to ensure their equal engagement in the state and public life through taking appropriate measures.
In the country which has a range of problems it is difficult for the state to do much for the people with certain disabilities, as relevant services require serious finances, appropriate facilities and high-class professionals.
However, the most important thing is the public attitude to the people with various disabilities.
If the attitude is that it must be, based on respect and not pity, the quality of life of the people with Down syndrome or other types of disabilities is much better.
It’s good that several TV channels in Georgia started involving of people with various disabilities as co-anchors in their programs.
Such steps will definitely help to raise the public awareness to the issue and changing of people’s attitudes to the right direction.