World Down Syndrome Day
World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is observed on 21 March every year. On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organize and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome.
The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
WDSD was first observed in 2006 in many countries around the world and Down Syndrome Association Singapore launched and hosted the WDSD website from 2006-2010, on behalf of Down Syndrome International, for global activities to be recorded.
On 19 December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day. The General Assembly decided to “designate 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day, to be observed every year beginning in 2012;” and “invites all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Down Syndrome Day in an appropriate manner, in order to raise public awareness of Down syndrome;”.
In Bhutan the day was celebrated in Youth Centre under at the Department of Youth and Sports complex organized by the Ability Society Bhutan. The Ability Society Bhutan under the royal patronship of her Majesty the Gyaltsuen has been established to enhance the quality of life for the individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by creating a collaborative, meaningful and inclusive education program in order for the child to grow into independent and productive citizens of Bhutan. The society in partnership with families, communities, government and non government organizations has been trying to promote the quality of the life and support individuals with disabilities to perform some or all the activities of daily activities in order to grow in a safe , barrier free and inclusive environment to become an independent and productive in the society.
The society has been organizing various programs which includes training of staff in the centers with the individual education program which is child centered with a approach that can accesses the strength of the particular child and the challenges and help required for the child. The other program includes the psycho- social support to the parents and families through the home based interventions. Family support program twice a week, advocacy and community outreach in the media and fund raising are some of the activities amongst others,
In order to support the people with Down syndrome in a small society like ours as an individual we must advocate their rights, inclusion and well being .