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PRASHAST : Checklist of Disabilities

About PRASHAST

All disability conditions are not visibly identifiable; therefore, PRASHAST a Disability Screening Checklist for Schools has been developed by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). It will help regular teachers and special educators to screen children at preliminary levels and refer them for further identification at assessment camps. 

The objective of PRASHAST is to screen and tentatively categorize existing disability conditions into the disabilities recognized by RPwD Act, 2016 to facilitate further identification and certification. Early recognition of disability conditions helps direct the attention of regular teachers towards children with special needs and prevent unnecessary unscientific labelling of children.

The guidelines consists of two parts

  1. PRASHAST Part-1 is for the use by regular teachers for first level screening. It contains objective type items that need to be tick marked, and the resulting
    data of all the students is to be handed over to the school head.
  2. PRASHAST Part-2 is for the use by special educators/counsellors/school heads for second level screening and tentative listing of disabilities in accordance with the 21 categories of disability conditions recognized by RPwD Act 2016. The results of the second level screening is to facilitate further identification and certification of disabilities.

The following is Part 2 of PRASHAST. For PRASHAST Part -1 Click Here.

Guidelines for Special Educators/Resource Teachers/Counsellors

  1. PRASHAST Part-2 contains checklists of 21 disabilities, as per the classification in RPwD Act, 2016.
  2. A separate list of characteristics based on the prominent (easily recognizable) symptoms for each disability condition with minimum or no use of medical or technical terminology is provided.
  3. PRASHAST Part-2 provides definitions of disability conditions according to the RPwD Act, 2016.
  4. Each question needs to be answered as ‘YES’ or (✓) based on the detailed behavioral observations.

How to Use PRASHAST Part-2

PRASHAST Part-2 is to validate, the findings of PRASHAST Part-1 from the regular / class teachers

  1. PRASHAST Part-2 is for use by special teachers and /or experts identified by the Principal/ Head Master/Head Mistress.
  2. Before using PRASHAST Part-2 read the document carefully.
  3. Use PRASHAST Part-2 to validate the screening of the students already screened by regular teachers using PRASHAST Part-1.
  4. The special educator/counsellor/principal of the school is required to check the items ticked by regular teachers in PRASHAST Part-1 and decode the same using Table 1 below, for each student separately.
  5. Fill the PRASHAST Part-2, by considering the disability categories decoded in PRASHAST Part-1 and after observing the child for a considerable time period (minimum 15 days), in different situations (inside/outside classroom, playground, canteen, mealtime, assembly, etc.).
  6. School wise data sheet along with the filled checklists for all 21 disabilities (where applicable), provided in PRASHAST Part-2 to be submitted as one single booklet per school.

Physical Disability

Physical disability refers to disability caused due to physical deformities or amputations and is a limitation to person’s physical functioning, mobility, stamina or ability to perform physical actions.

Loco-Motor Disability

Loco-motor disability means an inability of the bones, joints or muscles leading to substantial restriction of the movement of the limbs (RPwD, 2016).

Specific Checklist: Locomotor Disability

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1. Does this student have difficulty in walking or needs support to walk?          
2. Does this student have difficulty in using/moving any part of the body?          
3.* Does this student have an amputated (e.g. removal of a limb by surgical operation) body part?          
4. Does this student walk with sudden involuntary twitches or jerks?          
5.* Does this student use
  • crutches
  • aids
  • appliances
  • wheelchair
to walk or move around?
         
6.* Does this student have observable deformity in
  • neck
  • hands
  • finger
  • waist
  • legs
any other body part?
         

Leprosy Cured Person

Leprosy cured person means a person who has been cured of leprosy but is suffering from— (i) loss of sensation in hands or feet as well as loss of sensation and paresis in the eye and eye-lid but with no manifest deformity; (ii) manifest deformity and paresis but having sufficient mobility in their hands and feet to enable them to engage in normal economic activity; (iii) extreme physical deformity as well as advanced age which prevents him/her from undertaking any gainful occupation and the expression “leprosy cured” shall be construed accordingly (RPwD, 2016).

Specific Checklist: Leprosy Cured Persons

S.No. Items Student's Serial No.
1. Does this student have patches of discoloured areas on the skin or any body part?          
2. Does this student have muscle weakness or regularly complains about pain in muscles/joints?          
3. Does this student have facial disfigurement?          
4.*

Does this student have numbness (feels nothing/lack of sensation) in

  • hands?
  • feet?
  • legs?
  • arms?
         
5.

Does this student have missing

  • fingers?
  • toes?
         

Or
Is this child leprosy cured? If yes, kindly provide (attach) a brief history of treatment.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) means a group of non-progressive neurological conditions affecting body movements and muscle coordination caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring before, during or shortly after birth (RPwD, 2016).

Specific Checklist: Cerebral Palsy

S.No. Items Student's Serial No.
1. Does this student have stiff or floppy muscles and need to put in more effort to get their muscles moving while doing an activity?          
2. Does this student have poor coordination and balance?          
3.* Does this student have tremors or involuntary movements which are hindering him/her from doing any activity?          
4. Does this student favour using one side of the body, such as reaching with one hand or dragging a leg while crawling?          
5. Does this student have a limited range of movement?          
6. Does this student get easily startled (distressed) with loud or unexpected sounds and sudden environmental changes?          
7.

Does this student have difficulty in any of the following domains?

  • sitting on an ordinary chair
  • walking
  • jumping
  • climbing
  • bending without support
         
8.

Does this student have difficulty in any of the following domains?

  • holding pencil/crayon
  • placing objects
  • cutting
  • pasting
         
9.

Does this student have difficulty in any of the following self-help skills?

  • using toilet
  • washing
  • eating
  • using spoon 
         
10.*

Does this student have problems in

  • swallowing?
  • speaking?
  • breathing?
  • Is there noticeable drooling?
         

Dwarfism

Dwarfism means a medical or genetic condition resulting in an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches (147 centimetres) (RPwD, 2016). 

 Specific Checklist: Dwarfism

S.No. Items Student's Serial No.
1.* Does this student have a disproportionately large head?          
2. Does this student have a flattened bridge of the nose?          
3. Does this student have bowed legs?          
4. Does this student have a prominent forehead?          
5. Does this student have hip deformities that resulted in thigh bones turning inward?          
6. Does this student have a broad, rounded chest?          
7. Does this student have short fingers, often with a wide separation between the middle and ring fingers?          
8. Does this student have delayed or no sexual development during the teen years?          
9. Does this student have a short neck?          
10. Does this student have a curved spine near the shoulders, resulting in hunching?          

Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy means a group of hereditary genetic muscle disease that weakens the muscles that move the human body. Persons with multiple dystrophy have incorrect and missing information in their genes, which prevents them from making the proteins they need for healthy muscles. It is characterised by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death of muscle cells and tissue (RPwD, 2016).

Specific Checklist: Muscular Dystrophy

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1. Does this student fall frequently?          
2. Does this student have difficulty getting up from a lying or sitting position?          
3.

Does this student have trouble in

  • running?
  • jumping?
         
4.*

Does this student

  • swing the body?
  • take short steps?
  • move from side to side when walking?
         
5. Does this student walk on his/her toes?          
6. Does this student have large calf muscles?          
7. Does this student complain about muscle pain and stiffness?          
8. Does this student have other conditions such as developing speech later than usual?          

Acid attack victim

Acid attack victim means a person disfigured due to violent assaults by throwing of acid or similar corrosive substance (RPwD, 2016).

Acid is a substance that could be dangerous for its eroding chemical properties. It has turned into an untamed weapon used by anti-social people across the globe. It would be appropriate to call the victims of acid attack as survivors for obvious reasons such as taboos, social stigma, lower self-esteem, and permanent scars that they have to live with, post the incident.

Around 200 to 300 cases are reported every year in India alone but a large number of incidents remain unreported. The victims suffer emotionally, mentally, physically, socially as a result and require a lot of support to come out of the intense distress experienced. They can be easily identified by their distinct appearance like discolouration, severe burns, and deformities in the physique. With the help of strong legal mechanisms and its strict enforcement along with active community participation, the prevention and coping of such brutal crimes can be handled effectively.

The attack leaves severe imprint on the person’s public life and personal life making her/his livelihood and employment prospects challenging. To address this issue, the Government of India has included Acid Attack Victims or Survivors under the RPwD Act, 2016 for ensuring their well-being and welfare. 

Acid attack victims can be easily identified by their appearance. They have marks of severe burns on various body parts and may also suffer from physical deformities

Visual Impairment

Visual Impairment refers to decreased ability to see to the extent that causes problems in daily functioning.

Blindness

Blindness means a condition where a person has any of the following conditions, after best correction—(i) total absence of sight or (ii) visual acuity less than 3/60 or less than 10/200 (Snellen) in the better eye with best possible correction or (iii) limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of less than10 degree (RPwD, 2016).

Specific Checklist: Blindness

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1.* Is this student completely blind i.e., unable to see anything using both eyes?          
2. Does this student have misaligned eyes/squint (asymmetrical or twisted) i.e., position/shape of both eyeballs appear to be different?          
3. Is this student not able to differentiate between shades of green and blue or shades of red and green?          
4. Does this student take comparatively long time to see in a darkened room after being in the light (wanting a few minutes to recognise things)?          
5.* Does this student bump into objects or other students very frequently?          

Low Vision

Low vision means a condition where a person has any of the following conditions, namely:—(i) visual acuity not exceeding 6/18 or less than 20/60 upto 3/60 or upto 10/200 (Snellen) in the better eye with best possible corrections; or ii) limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of less than 40 degree up to 10 degree (RPwD, 2016).

Specific Checklist: Low Vision

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1. Does this student complain of burning sensation or itchiness in or around the eyes?          
2. Does this student flicker his/her eyes frequently?          
3. Does this student write irregularly i.e., words are twisted, poorly spaced, or words are not written between the ruled lines?          
4. Does this student have a low attention span while doing visual activity?          
5. Does this student complain of frequent headaches?          
6. Does this student hold a book too far or too close while reading?          
7. Does this student face difficulties while reading (misplaces the line or skips lines in between, omits words, adds words, moves head along the text)?          
8. Does this student avoid engaging in activities requiring visual focus such as reading or colouring or writing?          
9.* Does this student constantly or frequently rub his or her eyes, approximately 3-4 times in 10 minutes?          
10.* Does this student complain of seeing rainbows or halos around the light?          
11. Does this student make excessive errors in copying from chalkboard to paper on desk?          
12. Does this student complain of blurred, cloudy or double vision?          
13.*

Does this student close or cover one eye while

  • reading?
  • focusing on close objects?
  • writing?
         

Hearing Impairment

Hearing impairment refers to decreased ability to listen to the extent that it creates problems in day-to-day functioning

Hearing Impairment

Hearing impairment is defined as (a) “deaf” means persons having 70 DB hearing loss in speech frequencies in both ears; (b) “hard of hearing” means person having 60 DB to 70 DB hearing loss in speech frequencies in both ears (RPwD, 2016).

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1. Does this student turn head to position ear in the direction of the speaker?          
2. Does this student not respond when addressed or called out?          
3. Does this student use an unusually loud voice when speaking?          
4. Does this student often mispronounce words?          
5.

Does this student seem distracted and/or confused during

  • verbal communication?
  • explanations?
  • instructions?
  • needs repetition frequently?
         
6. Does this student face difficulty in following verbal directions or instructions?          
7.* Does this student purposefully watch faces while listening during a conversation?          
8.* Does this student not get startled or surprised by loud noises or has problems in hearing environmental sounds (i.e., school bell, people calling and/or talking to the student in social situations)?          
9. Does this student prefer to be alone rather than with a group, or frequently withdraws from social situations?          
10. Does this student make lots of errors in writing during dictations only?          
11. Does this student appear to be inattentive, restless, tired, or daydreaming?          

Speech and Language Disability

Speech and language disability refers to problems in communication involving hearing, speech, language, and fluency.

Speech and Language Disabilities

Speech and language disabilities means a permanent disability arising out of conditions such as laryngectomy or aphasia affecting one or more components of speech and language due to organic or neurological causes (RPwD, 2016).

Specific Checklist: Speech and Language Disabilities

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1. Does this student repeat words or parts of words? For example, when asked ‘Do you want to drink water’ the child will reply “You want to drink water”          
2. Does this student speak in short, fragmented phrases?          
3. Does this student say words in the wrong order, for example saying “blue sky is” instead of ‘sky is blue’?          
4. Does this student struggle in the use of words, for example repeating words again and again in a sentence or unable to use appropriate words?          
5.* Does this student have difficulty in imitating speech sounds, for example, a child is asked to repeat the word “boat” but he fails to repeat in the desired manner?          
6.* Does this student speak unclearly so that the sounds run into one another?          
7. Does this student make a lot of repeated syntax (grammatical) or semantics (structural) mistakes? For example, repeatedly writing ‘he push him’ instead of ‘he pushes/pushed him’.          
8. Does this student use a limited level of vocabulary/speech?          

Intellectual Disability

Intellectual disability refers to significant impairment in cognitive and adaptive functioning. It causes difficulties in problem solving, reasoning and learning.

Intellectual Disability

Intellectual disability is a condition characterised by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning (reasoning, learning, problem solving) and in adaptive behaviour which covers a range of everyday, social and practical skills (RPwD, 2016).

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1. Does this student seem to be developing more slowly than other children of the same age?          
2. Does this student have difficulty in communicating or socialising with others?          
3. Does this student have problems in remembering things?          
4.* In comparison to other students, does this student have an inability to connect actions with consequences? For example, no understanding of the meaning of silent gestures (Shh...) or keeping the finger on the mouth to stop talking.          
5. Does this student have difficulty with problemsolving or logical thinking? For example, severe discomfort in adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing numbers or in analysing the questions properly?          
6. Is this student unable to do everyday tasks like finishing homework, following teacher’s instructions/directions or using the washroom without help?          
7. Is this student not able to express emotions and needs?          
8. Do you think this student has improper eye contact?          
9. Do you notice repetitive gestures like spinning on a certain spot, enjoying a particular lifestyle and way of object arrangements which can otherwise cause anxiety in this student?          
10. Does this student react to external changes in an unexpected manner? For example, those who are nonchalant (unconcerned/disinterested) towards parents’ yelling and unresponsive to stimuli such as stinging, hotness and coldness.          

Specific Learning Disabilities

Specific learning disabilities means a heterogeneous group of conditions wherein there is a deficit in processing language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself as a difficulty to comprehend, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations and includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, dyslexia (related to reading), dysgraphia (related to writing), dyscalculia (related to mathematical calculations), dyspraxia (related to coordination and movements) and developmental aphasia (related to acquisition of language) (RPwD, 2016).

Specific Checklist: Specific Learning Disabilities 

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1. Is this student comparatively slow in reading or writing?          
2. Does this student have poor handwriting that lacks clarity even after sufficient practice and exercises?          
3. Does this student face difficulty and struggle in remembering numbers, figures, i.e. dates, years or statistical facts?          
4. Does this student continuously have trouble in understanding the meaning of what is read?          
5. Does this student face difficulty with spellings of simple words?          
6.* Does this student have difficulty with written expression (e.g., problems with grammar, punctuation or organization) even after being taught several times?          
7. Does this student have a short attention span or unable to concentrate on a task for half or one hour?          
8. Does this student have difficulty in understanding the meaning of time and fail continually to comprehend the requirements of completing assignments within the asked time frame/difficulty in organizing?          
9.* Does this child display an inability to follow directions?          
10.* Does this student reverse letters or symbols while writing?          

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder means a neuro-developmental condition typically appearing in the first three years of life that significantly affects a person’s ability to communicate, understand relationships and relate to others, and is frequently associated with unusual or stereotypical rituals or behaviours (RPwD, 2016).

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1.* Does this student have difficulty in making eye contact or looking at the speaker?          
2. Does this student echo or repeat words? For example, on being asked ‘what is your name?’ will the student repeat ‘what is your name?’ instead of telling their name?          
3. Does this student have difficulty in playing/ interacting/ making friends with peer group/ classmates?          
4. Does this student appear to be lost in his/her own world?          
5.* Does this student find it difficult to cope with sudden changes in his/her routine - for example, changes in timetable due to teacher absence, or other circumstances, or substitute teacher, or moving to another classroom etc.?          
6. Does this student exhibit repetitive mannerisms like hand flapping/nodding head/finger movement/rocking/vocal repetitions?          
7. Does this student show poor awareness, identification of others and how they are affected by his/her behaviours like not sharing or difficulty in joining games with classmates in appropriate manner or difficulty in waiting for his/her turn?          
8. Does this student have difficulty in following group instructions and needs specific instructions with details for every task, for example, copying from the blackboard, or opening textbooks/notebooks, or drawing a line, or bringing specific material for the next class?          
9. Does this student speak with an abnormal tone or rhythm and use a sing song or monotonous voice or robot-like speech?          
10. Does this student have difficulty in recognizing nonverbal cues, such as interpreting other people's facial expressions, body postures or tone of voice?          
11* During the story telling session does this student appear not interested while all others are listening keenly?          
12* Does this student read fluently and repeat verbatim but is not able to narrate (orally/written) in his/her own words?          
13 Does this child reverse pronouns or avoid using pronouns for example, when the teacher asks ‘have you brought your homework’ the child responds ‘you brought your homework/ Rani brought your homework’?          

Mental Behaviour

Mental behaviour includes mental illness which refers to disturbances in thoughts and behaviour that becomes obstacles in performing activities of daily living.

Mental Illness

Mental illness means a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behaviour, capacity to recognize reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life, but does not include retardation which is a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person, specially characterised by sub-normality of intelligence (RPwD, 2016).

Specific Checklist: Mental Illness

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1. Does this student often appear sad, or seems withdrawn, or has severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships at school?          
2. Does this student have trouble focusing or sitting still/staying in his/her seat?          
3. Does this student have an unexplained weight loss or weight gain?          
4. Does this student look anxious and frequently report symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches?          
5.* Does this student indulge in self-harm activities such as making cut marks or burning fingers?          
6.* Has this student been observed to exhibit suicidal thoughts or talk about attempting suicide?          
7. Has this student been observed getting involved in drugs or alcohol use?          
8. Does this student have intense fear of something, which, in reality, has little or no actual danger?          
9. Has this student been observed to be detached from reality and living in an imaginative world? For example, talking to or hearing voices of imaginary friends (that is not make-believe play)?           
10* Does this student have drastic changes in behaviour or personality, for example, fighting frequently, using weapons, and or expressing a desire to hurt himself/herself or others?          

Chronic Neurological Condition

This section includes disabilities caused by chronic neurological conditions. These are caused due to problems in nervous system of the person.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis means an inflammatory, nervous system disease in which the myelin sheaths around the axons of nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord are damaged leading to demyelination and affecting the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other (RPwD, 2016).

Specific Checklist: Multiple Sclerosis

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1. Does this student have numbness or weakness in limbs that typically occurs on one side of the body at a time or the legs and trunk?          
2. Does this student complain about electricshock sensations that occur with certain neck movements?          
3.* Does this student get tremors (rhythmic, muscle contraction and relaxation)?          
4. Does this student exhibit partial or complete loss of vision, usually in one eye at a time?          
5. Does this student have blurry and unclear vision?          
6.* Does this student have slurred speech? (Slurred speech is a symptom characterized by poor pronunciation of words, mumbling, or a change in speed or rhythm during talking)          
7. Does this student get easily tired or fatigued?          
8. Does this student complain about pins-and-needles sensation especially in the face, arms, legs and fingers?          

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease means a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremors, muscular rigidity and slow, imprecise movement, chiefly affecting middleaged and elderly people associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine (RPwD, 2016).

Parkinson’s is most commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 40. Though less common, young-onset Parkinson’s is diagnosed in people between the ages of 21-40. Even rarer still, Juvenile Parkinson’s is diagnosed in those under the age of 21. Juvenile Parkinsonism is difficult to diagnose because the nature of its manifestation in this age group is always with atypical features. Juvenile Parkinsonism usually presents itself as dystonia or rigidity in lower limbs. There is complete absence of resting tremors in most of the cases. There may be jerky movements of legs while walking or during rest but not tremors. Many times, pain may be the first clinical manifestation.

Following are the early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that could be observed in children, which may be considered as indicative of Parkinson’s later in life.

Specific Checklist: Parkinson’s Disease

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1. Does this student have cramped and smaller handwriting?          
2.* Does this student have tremors or shaking that usually begins in a limb, often hand or finger?          

Blood Disorders

This section includes the disabilities caused by problems in blood or blood disorders.

Haemophilia 

Haemophilia means an inheritable disease usually affecting only male but transmitted by women to their male child, characterized by loss or impairment of the normal clotting ability of blood so that a minor wound may result in fatal bleeding (RPwD, 2016).

Specific Checklist: Haemophilia

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1.* Does this student have unexplained and excessive bleeding from cuts or injuries?          
2. Does this student have many large or deep bruises?          
3. Does this student appear to be very lethargic?          
4. Does this student complain of a painful and prolonged headache?          
5. Does this student have a tendency to bleed from the nose, mouth, and gums without a known cause?           
6.* Does this student have unusual bleeding after vaccinations?          
7. Does this student have pain, swelling or tightness in joints?          
8. Does this student vomit repeatedly?          

Thalassemia 

Thalassemia means a group of inherited disorders characterised by reduced or absent amounts of haemoglobin (RPwD, 2016).

Specific Checklist: Thalassemia

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1. Does this student get easily tired?          
2. Does this student complain of unusual (out-of proportion) weakness?          
3. Does this student have pale or yellowish skin?          
4. Does this student look anaemic or affected with anaemia?          
5. Does this student complain of the dark colour of the urine?          
6.* Is this student frequently absent and visit the hospital for blood transfusion?          

Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease means a haemolytic disorder characterised by chronic anaemia, painful events and various complications due to associated tissue and organ damage; “haemolytic” refers to the destruction of the cell membrane of red blood cells resulting in the release of haemoglobin (RPwD, 2016).

Specific Checklist: Sickle Cell Disease

S.No Items Student's Serial No.
1. Does this student exhibit unexplained episodes of severe pain?          
2. Does this student exhibit swelling in the hands or feet most of the time?          
3. Does this student exhibit abdominal swelling most of the time?          
4. Does this student have
  • fever
  • infections
frequently?
         
5.* Does this student have pale skin or nails?          
6. Is this student tired or fatigued most of the time?          
7. Does this student have leg ulcers?          

Multiple Disabilities

Multiple disabilities include deafness, blindness which means a condition in which a person may have a combination of hearing and visual impairments causing severe communication, developmental, and educational problems (RPwD, 2016).

This term is used for a person who has several disabilities that are physical, psychological or sensual (related to senses, eyes, tears or any other) levels. Students may have two or more diseases or disorders such as mental retardation, brain injury, orthopaedic complications, seeing-hearing challenges, cognitive and genetic issues or such medical conditions. These students may have significant trouble acquiring skills/information, registering information in their mind, and applying it timely when a need comes up. Several common characteristics of multiple disabilities include hampered speech and communication skills, challenges in mobility, lack of sensation, physical deformities, and need for assistance in performing everyday activities.

Any other category as may be notified by the Central Government

This is a subject to provision of the Constitution. It will include any other disability whenever notified by the Central Government (RPwD, 2016).

Source : NCERT

Last Modified : 2/27/2023



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