is a common learning difficulty that can affect reading, writing and spelling.
well-known people with dyslexia include director Steven Spielberg and actors
Tom Cruise and Abhishek Bachchan.
to a 2015 government estimate, at least 10% - or nearly 35 million - Indian
children are dyslexic, although Dr Kumar says she believes the numbers to be
much higher because there's "very little awareness" about the
the metro cities, teachers and parents are a little sensitised, but in smaller
towns and rural areas, there is very little awareness. We don't have the tools
to identify the children with learning difficulties in government schools,
smaller towns and villages," she says.
Modi's comments were made on Saturday night when he was addressing engineering
students who were participating in the Smart India Hackathon - an event meant
to encourage students to come up with technology-driven solutions to issues
related to women and child safety.
controversial comments came as an engineering student began telling Mr Modi -
who was speaking via video link - about her programme.
cartoonist Aravinda Tegginamath's illustration has been shared by hundreds on
have an idea to help dyslexic children," she said, "whose pace of
learning and writing is very slow. But they have a high intelligence and
then referred to Taare Zameen Par, the 2007 Bollywood hit film which centred
around a dyslexic child.
this point, the prime minister interrupted her and asked, "Will this programme
work for a 40 to 50-year-old child too?"
the room dissolved into laughter and students began clapping, she answered:
"Yes sir, it will."
before she could move on, the prime minister again interjected, saying:
"Then that will make the mothers of such children very happy."
Mr Modi did not name any names, it was immediately obvious that he was
attempting to ridicule Rahul Gandhi, the opposition Congress party president,
and his mother, Sonia Gandhi, also a politician. India faces a looming election
before the end of May.
there's never been any talk of Mr Gandhi being dyslexic, the prime minister's
latest comments are being seen as a distasteful attempt to denigrate his
political rival. Mr Modi has often described Mr Gandhi as "Pappu" - a
generic name to signify a bumbling man of low intelligence.
the joke seems to have backfired, with the prime minister being castigated for
his remarks. Many opposition leaders and citizens took to social media to
supporters on Twitter - normally highly vocal - have not addressed the issue
directly, though a few suggested that Mr Modi was mocking Rahul Gandhi and not
on social media and in press commentary, condemnation has been the overwhelming
sentiment. Mr Modi, says Dr Kumar, "should apologise to the country,
especially to those children and young adults who are dyslexic".-BBC