International Ataxia Awareness Day (IAAD) 2011 was celebrated in the city on Sunday

‘Wanted: rehab for ataxians’
KH Rao, father of ataxia brothers, says many patients end up living burdensome lives
Ritu Goyal Harish

International Ataxia Awareness Day (IAAD) 2011 was celebrated in the city on Sunday. The ataxia brothers, Guru Prasad and Vivek Rao, announced the establishment of the Ataxia Awareness Charitable Trust (AACT).
AACT aims to help and assist poor, deserving and meritorious ataxia students for education by awarding scholarships. It will also spread awareness about ataxia and provide information and counselling on how to live with the disease to sufferers and their family members.
Moreover, the outfit would organise meetings and seminars to generate knowledge on ataxia disorders and also to share information about medical, educational grants and other benefits to which they are entitled.
The AACT also hopes to help ataxians in obtaining essential commodities like wheelchairs, walkers and medicines.
Sanjay Salunke (8), son of a Maharashtra state electricity board lineman, was the youngest participant at the event. His parents hoped to get medical aid from the trust. Other caregivers of ataxia patients hoped that there could be some vocational training that could be imparted to these sufferers so that they could eke out a reasonable living.
An ashram or rehabilitation centre where the ataxians can spend their days was also mooted. “There are homes for deaf and mute, blind and the aged, but nothing for ataxians who are struck at a young age and lead a burdensome existence for years together,” said KH Rao, father of Guru Prasad and Vivek.Sanjay Salunke (L) cuts the cake on the event of IAAD 2011 celebrations

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