Blue lights represent autism andaccordingly blue lamps were lighted to mark the inauguration of the World Autism Awareness Day 2016 function held at the NEDFi Convention Centre in Guwahati on Sunday.
Welcoming the guests and guardians present on the occasion, Dr Shabina Ahmed, Managing Trustee, Assam Autism Foundation (AAF) which was founded in 1998, gave a glimpse of the journey of AAF and its striving to provide children with autism and other developmental disabilities the best possible opportunities for functional support and training along with assistance in helping them reach their best potential. Incidentally, it may be mentioned here that Dr Ahmed is presumably the only recipient of the National Award for Child Welfare in the field of autism, the honour which she had received from the President of India in November 2014.
The chief guest of the occasion, Dr Bijou Choudhury Dutta, Vice Principal, Gauhati Medical College, lauded the good work of AAF by which she said, “AAF was making the autistic children functional to attain individual independence, productivity, and livelihood.” She exhorted upon the civil society to work for building a society that recognises and uses the potential abilities of the autistic person.
Dr Chiranjib Kakoty, Director, NEYSPM, in his address as the guest of honour, stressed upon the need for state-of-the-art rehabilitation centres, respite homes, and vocational units for self-employment and independent living opportunities for the autistic person. Among others who deliberated on the occasion were Dr Khafiluz Zaman Ahmed, Trustee, AAF and Reshma NC Shah, Vice President, River Education Foundation. A few parents of autistic children also spoke and shared their experiences. Samrat Deka, MD, Repose Bakeries and Confectionaries, mentioned about their association with AAF for the welfare of autistic children.
An exhibition of products made by autistic children, a talent-show where autistic children participated, and a musical programme added glitter to the event. Nellie Ahmed Tanveer, Mahendra Nath Shil, Ritul Das, and Tutumoni Basumatary were felicitated for their services to the cause of autistic children.