We are less when we don’t include everyone!

The global drive to reduce infant mortality has led to more babies surviving with chronic illness and disability but the developmental outcomes of the survivors remains neglected. The Lancet recently released a comprehensive series on Early Childhood Development (ECD), and emphasises ECD as a holistic approach attending to the child’s physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development. 

In 2014, India launched the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Suraksha (RBSK) program, the world’s largest screening program for children, to detect diseases, deficiencies, defects and disabilities. Early Intervention centres were established across the country and screen increasing numbers of children with developmental disabilities; however trained ECD professionals are scarce, especially in remote locations, like the Himalayan State of India Uttarakhand 

Measures are needed to evaluate the efficacy of services from the perspective of the families who use them. The status of ECD will be improved by linking robust research initiatives with practice. Inclusive and sustainable approaches involve engagement of families and community, combined with community-based rehabilitation. Collaborative relationships between government agencies, providers and research institutions are also key. This is our opportunity to make a historically invisible population visible to public.

Submitted by:

Shubha Nagesh

Happiness is seeing your mother smile because of you!

Little boy, you remind me how so much depends on days made of now-­‐ Alison McGhee. While the challenges ahead are steep, the imperative for universal early childhood development is clear: every child has the right to develop her or his fullest potential and to contribute fully to society.

Photographer: Ken Karl

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible!

She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails-­‐ Elizabeth Edwards. Efforts to ensure that no one is left behind in the first hundred days is crucial; more so for children born different, born early, and born with disabilities.

Photographer: Manik Mandal

I can and I will - ­watch me!

There is no elevator to success-­‐ you have to take the stairs. The benefits of leaving no one behind include solid returns-­‐ this is so valid for children with special needs. Each year of inaction tends to build up the impending costs exponentially.

Photographer: Joe Gidjunis