icddr,b and partners hold an exciting arts and crafts exhibition powered by differently abled children in honour of World Autism Awareness Week 2018

Dhaka, March 29, 2018 – In honour of World Autism Awareness Week (26 March - 2 April 2018), icddr,b has organised an arts and crafts exhibition prepared by differently abled children from Autism Welfare Foundation, Society for the Welfare of the Autistic Children, Beautiful Mind, and PFDA-Vocational Training Center. icddr,b facade has lit up in blue light at night in solidarity with iconic landmarks and buildings around the world to observe the occasion.

According to the Ministry of Social Welfare of Bangladesh, one in every 500 children and about 1.4 million people in total of the country have autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, the number of diagnosed individuals with autism is few, partially due to autism related stigma and lack of knowledge by both parents and health professionals.

While icddr,b and partners have been undertaking several initiatives to improve therapeutic practices and raise awareness around the care of children with ASD, exploring how mothers who have children with ASD are affected by depression, still there is a big gap in understanding autism, the person and the positive change one can make to improve lives.  

In order to highlight the immense potential of differently abled children when provided the appropriate enabling environment, icddr,b has gathered their amazing works of arts and crafts and arranged for exhibit and sale, and icddr,b staff dressed in blue to show their support.

Speaking at the exhibition inauguration, Syed Monjurul Islam, Deputy Executive Director at icddr,b has expressed his gratitude to the participating children with autism and their families, and partner organisations for their support in holding the exhibition. He also said, “We want children with autism to grow up in an environment that works for them. Every one of us has a role to play to make the home, school, workplace, transportation, toilets, parks, marketplaces accessible for them.”

On behalf of participating children with ASD, Poshla has spoken on the occasion, she said, “I go to special school, I love to draw, sing, recite poems and making handicrafts. I have my paintings exhibited here. I am grateful to icddr,b and you all for coming here.”

Dr. Aliya Naheed, Head, Non Communicable Diseases, icddr,b and representatives from four partner organisations have also shared their experiences on the occasion.

Dr Abdun Noor Tushar, CEO of Nagorik TV and eminent media personality and representatives from the Government, development partners, different embassies to Bangladesh and other stakeholders have taken part in the exhibition and sale.