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On World Autism Day, a charitable trust in Kozhikode hopes for rehabilitation of special children

By Shafeeq Hudavi, TwoCircles.net,

Kozhikode: Amidst the hustle and bustle of the Autism Week observance, being held in Kerala, the functionaries of the Humanity Charitable Trust are upbeat, with every reason to be. The members of the trust, based here in Kozhikode, are glad that their years long efforts have started to bear fruit.

Since its inception in 1996, they are battling against the misconceptions, mounted in the public mind-set about autistic children. “Hopefully, it appears to be changing from a scenario, where the autistic and specially abled children were treated as burdens earlier. The active public participation in programmes, meant to create awareness about autism, testifies this positive diversion,” says PKM Siraj, a member of the Trust.

Teachers and students of the special school, being run by the Humanity Charitable Trust in Kozhikode city of Kerala, during their activities/ TCN

In a bid to ensure the quality and special education for the students the trust is now running a special school Roshi, which literally means light, at Annie Hall Road in the city.

A counselling centre is also functioning under the Centre for Rehabilitation and Research for Children with Special Needs with the school.

The number of the beneficiaries of the institutions is also quite high with 100 with adequate employees including teachers, trainers and servants.

“When it comes to extending a befitting approach towards such children in terms of treatment, education, rehabilitation and job providing, we are still lagging far behind the advanced countries. Our prime priority is to mould a new culture, where they are given their due rights and equally treated in all fields of life,” says another member P Sikandar.

The early intervention centre, where ailments like autism could be detected at its very first stage, is nearing completion with the school.

“Around 60 per cent of the autistics, who are left bed ridden, could have been brought to the mainstream if the problems were detected in the primary stage and given interventional treatment,” Siraj lays stress on the need to set up such a centre.

The trust is also contemplating on a scheme Our Responsibility to Special Children. The scheme helps the children, belonging to underprivileged families, meet the financial requirements.

“If a child is mentally abled, it sometimes means a family also has to be with him all the time that adversely affects the family income. The scheme extends them financial assistance and moreover makes them able to find out daily earnings by developing their skills,” says trust member Mohammed Ismael.

Sikandar points out that despite various welfare initiatives expert guidance for the parents and children, there still remains a major gap to be filled.

The guidance centre, mooted by the trust, will pass information to the parents about the government welfare and charity schemes and experts in autism treatment.

If they are in search for autism treatment, according to Sikandar, the parents are destined to hold a shopping like search as the physicians from all types of medicine claim they are the best. “Besides, most of the parents are unaware of the rights, which their children have been offered by the governments,” he adds.

“A dreamy like progression is blatant in the advanced countries. A full-fledged autism rehabilitation village with an environment, which keeps the autistics and mentally challenged persons stuck with its meadows and huts, is our dream. There, they can live their own lives and earn much and need not to leave for their houses and relatives,” the trio goes crazy while talking about the uplifting of the autistics.

While asked how they meet the daily expenses without government aid, the trio said that they were ardently supported by the god along with a group, which firmly believes that peace comes through extending a helping hand to the persons in need.

However, the members are worried that the governments are sitting on various demands, raised by the autistics.

“The much celebrated reservation in employment sector still remains in announcement,” Siraj says.

However, the trust is set to send letters to all MPs in the country seeking their intervention in the woes, being faced by the specially abled persons across the country.

“Though theere are various issues are there our prime intention to bring a specially abled friendly state in to reality. The uplifting comes in to true sense only while they are treated with the due privileges and ensured the rights,” Siraj says.