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Developmental Issues

For a cause:An awareness rally undertaken to mark World Autism Day in Navi Mumbai.PTIPTI

To create awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and help people understand, accept and support individuals with autism and their parents and caregivers, the Tata Power Community Development Trust (TPCDT) has partnered with the Centre for Autism and Other Disabilities Rehabilitation Research and Education (CADRRE), a not-for-profit organisation based in Thiruvananthapuram, to launch “Pay Autention — a different mind is a gifted mind”, India’s first bridgital autism support network.

The initiative shall pave the way for small towns and rural India to access specialised care and support and help create an auxiliary network of champions for the differently abled. This platform shall also enable mentoring, skilling and meaningful livelihoods for people with autism.

In the first phase, the initiative will primarily focus on supporting children with autism, and subsequently, in the second stage, it will focus on young adults, empowering them with life skills and career readiness. The content is designed and delivered in collaboration with specialists from CADRRE who have expertise in training children with autism.

Helpline launched

The project aims to create a network of grassroots champions, enable early identification, first-level care, teach social skills, ways to ease activities of daily living, hold workshops for sensory and motor development — art and craft, dance, music therapy, physical and mental fitness, communication skills and enable support for academics. In addition to this, a toll-free autism support helpline is also launched at 18002099 488 to provide interactive support and much-needed professional aid for families in need.

In a statement, Tata Sons Chairman N. Chandrasekaran said: “I congratulate Tata Power and CADRRE for launching the first-of-its-kind autism support network. As a responsible corporate group, we are committed to enabling equitable and balanced growth of economy and society at large. The vision is to facilitate bridgital connectivity and social infrastructure with better access for all – including differently abled and rural communities”.

Tata Power CEO & MD Praveer Sinha said the effort “is to unlock possibilities for autistic individuals, through professional care and support, lighting up their lives and ensuring we walk the path of truly leaving no one behind”.

CADRRE honorary director G. Vijaya Raghavan said that in the next few years, this should become a platform that changes the lives of countless families impacted by autism.

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