Health Desk- April 02, 2018: The 11st World Autism Awareness Day is being observed in the country as elsewhere across the world in order to raise awareness about autism, a development disorder of children, characterized by impaired communication, excessive rigidity, and emotional detachment.
The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as the World Autism Awareness Day to highlight the needs for helping improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder. This year the theme of the day is Empowering Women and Girls with Autism.
Autism, an ignored public health issue, came to the forefront in Bangladesh after Saima Wazed Putul, daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and a school psychologist, launched campaign on it in early 2007.
Saima also received recognition from the World Health Organization for her great endeavour on a neglected public health issue.
President M Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina gave separate messages on the eve of the day where they urged all, including the local and foreign organizations, to come forward along with the government for the welfare of the disabled persons specially empowered women and girls with autism.
M Abdul Hamid said autistic children have the equal rights and privileges as well as abilities to grow and contribute to society.
The prime minister, in her message, thanked all persons involved in the cause of autism and said she felt proud of her daughter, Saima Wazed Putul, who made tremendous efforts to bring smiles on the faces of autistic children and their families.
The ministry of social welfare, social welfare department, national disability development foundation, IPNA, national disability forum and different socio-cultural bodies and non-government organizations have chalked out an elaborate programme to observe the day in a befitting manner.