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Jalandhar

Posted at: Apr 2, 2017, 1:45 AM; last updated: Apr 2, 2017, 1:45 AM (IST)WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY

NGOs, activists speed up campaign

Efforts for awareness

  • In Jalandhar, Guru Nanak Mission Hospital will be lit up in blue on Sunday as an act of solidarity to the autistic community and spreading awareness among the parents
  • Running a social media and awareness campaign on the issue, an NGO, SOCH, would be running an ‘Each One Speak to One’ campaign in city and will distribute pamphlets among residents and parents of autistic children
NGOs, activists speed up campaign
People take part in an event with autistic children to observe autism awareness month. File photo

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 1

While the national campaign for persons with disabilities received a shot in its arm last year as the Rajya Sabha ratified the Right of People with Disability Act, 2016, in November, four months after the ratification of the bill and a day ahead of the World Autism Awareness Day, activists say much needs to be done on the ground.

As part of the awareness campaign being carried out across the world, selected buildings shall be lit up in blue. In Jalandhar, Guru Nanak Mission Hospital will be lit up in blue as an act of solidarity to the autistic community and spreading awareness among the parents. The hospital will be joining the following buildings in India and abroad to be lit up - the Victoria Memorial and Howrah Bridge in Kolkata, Ripon Building in Chennai, Empire State Building in New York (USA), Sydney Opera House (Australia), Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth (UK), CN Tower in Toronto (Canada), Bell Tower in Perth (Australia) among others.

As per the statistics, one in 68 people (80 per cent of them boys) around the world are affected with autism. In Jalandhar, there are nearly 300 persons affected with it.

On World Autism Awareness Day tomorrow, NGO SOCH would carry out a campaign in the city to spread awareness regarding autism for the betterment of such children. Co-ordinating with ‘Action For Autism’ (New Delhi) and ‘Autism Speaks’(USA) , a request has been sent to the people around the city to light up their homes and work places in blue.

Running a social media and awareness campaign on the issue, SOCH would also be running an ‘Each One Speak to One’ campaign tomorrow and will distribute pamphlets among residents and parents with autistic children across the city. SOCH is the parent organisation which attempts to create awareness and know-how for autism.

Anjali Dada, from SOCH, Jalandhar, said, “We are spreading the word among parents. We also have a Whts App group on the issue and many volunteers will be distributing pamphlets across the district. While people are certainly more sensitive regarding autism, we still have a long way to go as the implementation of the facilities and autistic-friendly infrastructure is yet to permeate to the grass-roots level.”

State disability activist Amarjit Singh Anand said, “While on the surface, the effect of the bill’s ratification isn’t that evident, but people’s thinking is certainly changing. The process for the implementation of Nirmaya Health Scheme and Insurance Scheme for persons with disabilities has also been made smoother. Now, we have to just register online while there were times when parents ran around officials for the same. Also, there has been an increase in registered organisations who can conduct the task. However, on the flip side, the implementation of facilities under the SSA for autistic and disabled persons has been poor.”

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