Autism in India - Is it a threat to a Country becoming Economic Super Power ? sign now

To

Honorable

Prime Minister of India

New Delhi , India.



Dear Dr. Manmohan Singh,



I am a parent of a kid having autism and a member of a parents support group cum NGO/Charitable trust in Mumbai.

I am requesting State Resolution for a Bill entitled to be an act for an

Autism Spectrum Disorder Combat and Prevention in India.



Kindly refer our representation letter dated 20th Nov. 2005 which has been received at your good office on 21st Dec. 2005.I on behalf of 'Forum For Autism' acknowledge with thanks the copy of the letter dated 13th march 2006 from Ministry of HRD, Department of Secodary and Higher Education , IEDC addressed to Chairman of CBSE and Director, DD , Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment which had been sent to us.



I sincerely believe that your good office will take all the efforts to address all the points mentioned in our letter dated 20th Nov. 2005 which had been signed by several hundreds parents , doctors and therapists in and around Mumbai , India.



As you know Autism is increasing its proportion in our country and as per statistics it is about one in every 200 persons in India. The alarming propotions by which it is rising can make Inidia become the most populus country in the world having such neurological disorder.As the medical community unable to find any suitable cause for its root , the only way availble is early detection and intervention by which the symptoms of unacceptable language and behaviour can be minimised.



The urgent need of today is also to identify the special skill which these children and adult with autism posses and to hone that skill to convert the same into some meaningful contribution to the society which can only make them self reliable and independent.



The issue is getting more importance in a scenario where our coutry is poised to become economic super power in line with China by the year of 2020 but still we Indians are inculcating the age old laws of civil aviation which bars the 11 year old autistic boy to board the flight as he would cause threats to co-passengers.Please keep in mind that we have approximately 4 million such children and adults are there by the year 2020 it can well cross 8-10 \% of our population who will be falling under such category.



I earnestly request you to promulgate some act for the benefit of such children and for the benefit of all in the nation to combat and prevent such invisible outbreak which may pose a serious challenge in terms of social cost to the Govt. Of India.



I solemnly reiterate the need for an urgent review of all our points raised in the letter of 'Forum For Autism' dated 20th Nov.2005 which are again being attached for your ready reference.

1. Recognize Autism as a disability and include it under the Persons with Disabilities Act;

2. Include and integrate all children with any special needs, specifically autism, in schools (both Special Schools and mainstream schools);

3. Extension of concession for students with autism while appearing for the board examinations (for children continuing study in the mainstream school);

4. Setting up Vocational Centers, Residential Home and Reservation of Jobs for Individuals with Autism.



At the outset however i would like to congratulate you and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for the decision to amend the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 (PwD Act). Its implementation in the last ten years has shown up the many areas for improvement in the Act. We trust that as a forward thinking government, the amendments will include changes in keeping with the report of the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The decision to invite suggestions from individuals and organizations for the amendments provides an opportunity to us to voice our views for bringing about the desirable amendments that can improve the Act and make it a fit instrument for social change.I have personally given suggestion to Mr Ashish Kumar ( the person concerned seeking advice for the amendment of PwD Act ) and hope that someting will happen very soon.



Nevertheless i strongly believe that there is need for a separate law/Act in our country to prevent the spread of Autism and more effectively to sesitise the society at large to recognise the people having similar disorder with more dignity and not not to look at them as merely people causing threat and other concern.



A person with autism who has an IQ of 76 or above is probably not able to hold a high paying job. If that person's family is not able to financially provide for a supported living arrangement when they are no longer around, that person may be forced out in the streets.



As the spectrum is very wide and the policy decision needs to be framed to cover all the sections of the community affected by autism.



Therefore, at the end i earnestly request your goodself to look into the possibility to introduce a special Act to stop discrimination as the children with autism and their parents feel the heat of discrimination in public places, in medical institutions, in educational institutions, in insurance schemes, in getting a Disability Certificate to name but a few.The children with autism and their families are the most under-priviledged section of the country and i personally believe appropriate action would be taken by you and your good government.



Peacefully i remain here.

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