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Autism cases on the rise in Manipur
Sobhapati Samom
 IMPHAL, Jan 19 - Cases of autism and other locomotion disorders are on the rise in Manipur.

 “Presently various forms of research and study are on to find the main causes of the disorder,” says Tokendra Ricky, a key functionary of the Spastics Society of Manipur. “However, we find use of anti-biotic medicines, pollution, nutrition and lifestyles issues, etc., in most of the autism case histories here,” he added.

Autism is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.

Apart from autism there are also reports of cerebral palsy, a locomotor disorder, in the State, Ricky added while speaking to The Assam Tribune on the sideline of a daylong media sensitization workshop here on Tuesday. There are 54,110 persons with disabilities in Manipur as per the 2011 Census.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, former Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities Prasanna Kumar Pincha appealed to the media fraternity in Manipur to give more emphasis on the rights issues of persons with disabilities, instead of event-based reporting in order to highlight the real issues and challenges faced by persons with disabilities.

Reminding the gathering, particularly Lok Sabha MP Dr T Meinya Singh (who attended the programme as the chief guest) that two important Bills – Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Mental Health Care Bills – are currently pending in Rajya Sabha, Pincha appealed that the Bills be passed without any debate in Parliament.

Meanwhile, L Nabakishore, Director of the Social Welfare Department who attended the sensitization programme as a resource person-cum-guest of honour, said the State Government is taking up a number welfare schemes for the persons with disabilities. As many as 646 disabled students and 25 associations will be getting various financial assistance and grant-in-aid from the Social Welfare Department. Besides, 1,325 persons with disabilities will be beneficiaries of the Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Schemes, while 31 individuals will be getting marriage incentive awards for the year 2015-16, he added.

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