The Kerala High Court has passed a comprehensive judgement regarding therapy centres for children with disabilities in the state with timelines set. This comes after a prolonged campaign by parents support group TogetherWeCan which has been advocating for closer monitoring and supervision of therapy centres.

A sustained five-year campaign is finally seeing results. In a landmark judgement, one that will hopefully lead to similar efforts across India, the Kerala High Court has given clear, comprehensive orders regarding therapy centres for children with disabilities in the state.

5-year-long campaign by parents & professionals

This is the fallout of a sustained campaign by by parents and professionals under the banner Together We Can (TWC), who have been pushing for regulation of these therapy centres, both private and government-run.

The court has now said:

  • Regulations for running therapy centres must be notified within 10 days.
  • The state government will establish model therapy centres across districts that are affordable, accessible, adequate and appropriate. They must be managed by competent professionals.
  • All centres in Kerala would have to be registered within four months.
  • The sum of over 3.5 crore rupees allocated by the government towards this must be used only for this purpose.

This is a big step, one that will empower parents of disabled children. Seema Lal, Co-founder, TogetherWeCan, hopes this will motivate parents to speak up for the rights due to them and their children.

For any change to happen things have to change at the policy level. It’s time we all take accountability and responsibility of raising children to become as competent, compassionate and productive members of society who can lead meaningful lives in a healthy interdependence with the community around. – Seema Lal, Co-founder, TogetherWeCan

This is just the initial steps and clearly there is a long way to go before the process gets going. But the fact that it has come this far will surely be a motivating factor. Over the last few years there have been numerous instances of abuse and mismanagement reported at therapy centres for children with disabilities around the country. This news from Kerala will hopefully encourage parents groups in other states to initiate similar steps.