The Children Library Complex (CLC) hosted an awareness event on Autism on the 2nd of April 2019. The day is marked as the World Autism Awareness Day according to the UN. The team of organizers included Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Welfare Trust (a collaborative project of Mahvash & Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation and Ramaq Center for Awareness & Social Responsibility), the Bright Rays Foundation and Alif Laila Book Bus Society. The event was held at the special children’s building of CLC.
Various engaging activities were arranged for the autism-affected children including magic shows, puppet shows, musical chair, races, and a range of art competitions. The magic show was interactive and encouraged participation of the children. The children were enthusiastically participating and cheering while the hall echoed with claps. On another side, the children were enjoying a musical chair activity, guided by their mothers and teachers. There was an arrangement for a range of different races including the mother-children race. In the main hall, some other stalls included the shirt painting stall, art & painting, as well as a board for hand-painting. Yet another stall was for face painting where the teachers painted different things for the children.
Towards the end of the event, there was an Autism Awareness Seminar where the chief guest and the organizers addressed the children, their parents and the teachers. Mr Tahir Hamdani, DG Special Education, talked about the efforts taking place at the level of the government for special needs children’s education, specifically focusing on autism. Ms Rukhsana Shah, chairperson ASB Welfare Trust, stressed on the need for awareness and social conscience for a greater understanding of the challenges of special needs children. Ms Mariam Khokhar, Chairperson CLC, appreciated the efforts of the organizers. Mr Ali Zafar had a special appearance and talked about the need for a change in our narratives: ‘these children as not disabled but are different’. Further, he discussed how such children have enhanced capabilities in other aspects, specifically in mathematics, creativity and arts.
Ms Mariam Khokhar distributed the prizes to the winners from the different competitions held at the event which was uplifting and encouraging for the children who were cheering enthusiastically. It was remarkable to note that all of the children present in the hall celebrated each winner’s prize collection as their own victory. Such a behavior reiterated what was stated on one of the slogans: “someone with autism has taught me, love needs no words”. Ms Khokhar also presented the chief guests and the organizers with souvenirs which concluded the ceremony and the visitors were guided to an awareness walk.
Blog by Arooba Haider