There are 112 primary schools, 34 middle schools and 23 high schools in Nagaland’s Wokha, but none for children with special needs. But in small towns like Wokha, where Renchano’s family lives, children with special needs have no option but stay uneducated as normal schools can not cater to their needs. These schools lack the infrastructure that special children need. They also do not have education materials that can help a special child overcome learning difficulties.
So even if they are technically admitted to such a school, it can’t educate special children.
This is despite the fact that The Right to Education bill’ 2009 gives disabled children statutory right to education.
The boy with Down Syndrome in Renchano’s video is her own brother who has been deprived of his rights to education, as there are no schools where he can learn. Watching a teenager grow up only to have a bleak future is an agony for any family with children like Pilamo. Renchano and her family share this agony.
It was this agony and frustration that led Renchano to produce the video, because children with special need had been ignored for a long time and Renchano felt, as a community correspondent, she has a responsibility to highlight their plight.
Around 1,331,338 people in India today have Down Syndrome. About 36,000 babies are born with Down syndrome every year. This is 16% of all those born globally. Renchano feels the government needs to ensure that schools around the country are getting well equipped to provide all these children with what they need to exercise their right to education.