Moosan - the poster child of our WDSD campaign
March 21st was World Down Syndrome Day, and Sri Arunodayam took its campaign to two city colleges in Chennai, India in an attempt to engage the youth – the future parents of a new generation. Conducting multi-level awareness campaigns at various locations and digitally via its website and Social Media, Sri Arunodayam sought to increase awareness, helping people understand the need to make our society more inclusive.
Campaigns at the home
At the home, Sri Arunodayam celebrated the life of Moosan (one of our children with Down syndrome). Moosan’s story and a multi-lingual Quick Facts poster on Down syndrome was displayed at prominent locations across the home inviting visitors to engage on the topic. The home’s children were also dressed in the official colors of blue and yellow, the cumulative effect of which was the ability to engage visitors, helping them understand the need to make society a more welcoming place for persons with Down syndrome.
Campaigns at the Colleges
Together with the colleges’ Social Work Departments, Sri Arunodayam staff conducted awareness programs by giving presentations and running signature campaigns at two colleges in the city of Chennai. Our staff provided a detailed picture of what life is like for people with Down syndrome and held a quick FAQ to enlighten students on acceptable and non-acceptable social mores.
It is a matter of grave concern to Sri Arunodayam that despite huge progress being made today in media and technology, young people appear unaware and uninformed of critical life issues such as intellectual disability. Our interaction with the students revealed a very real and definite need to reach out to our country’s youth, to enlighten and engage them on important life issues – issues that could well impact not only their lives, but the lives of their children, and thus future generations!
We were able to instruct them that discriminating against differently abled people or thinking that they are less valuable as human beings is the first and the greatest lesson to be learned. The Heads of the Social Work Departments requested Sri Arunodayam to conduct regular awareness programs at their campus, and we are considering a plan for sustained campaigning at schools and colleges in the new financial year. The signature campaign turned out to be a great success as it encouraged the students to contemplate and express their thoughts on Down syndrome.
“World Down Syndrome Day is a global awareness day officially observed by the United Nations since 2012”, says Iyyappan Subramaniyan, Sri Arunodayam’s Founder & Managing Trustee. “We are happy to celebrate it for the first time at Sri Arunodayam. Our many planned activities to spread awareness proved to be a win-win situation where we not only taught people but also learned many new things about Down syndrome and its worldwide movement. Persons with Down syndrome should be given equal status, opportunities, and the respect they truly deserve in our society. We must ensure that such opportunities are provided to enable them to contribute to society in a meaningful way. At Sri Arunodayam, we will continue to strive for the betterment and empowerment of persons living with Down syndrome so that they can lead a dignified life, which is their inherent right.”
Moosan – the poster child of our Down syndrome campaign is spreading a message of true empathy and compassion – something that our society desperately needs today. Read his story here: https://sriarunodayam.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/poster.pdf
Campaign at the College
Working with the Social Work Departments