Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today emphasized integrating all children with special needs, including those with autism, into the mainstream of society, giving them the opportunity to develop their talents hidden.
“I believe that we will be able to integrate people with autism syndrome into the mainstream of national life with the united efforts of all and our diversified efforts (of the government),” she said.
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She said this while addressing the 15th World Autism Awareness Day 2022 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) organized by the Ministry of Social Affairs.
She joined the program virtually from her official residence Gono Bhaban.
The theme for this year’s day is: “Make such a world: explore the talents of people with autism”.
The Prime Minister said that children with autism syndrome have various types of hidden talents.
“These talents must flourish by giving them opportunities,” she said.
She urged everyone to take steps to help special children so they can develop their hidden talents and contribute to society.
Regarding the request to provide accommodation with training facilities for people with autism after the death of their parents and guardians, Sheikh Hasina said the government would do so.
“Initially, we will arrange housing with training facilities at divisional headquarters and then gradually to all districts through the Neuro-Developmental Disability Protection Trust,” she said.
She asked the Minister of Social Affairs to take a project to this effect.
Hasina called on the wealthy part of the population to come forward to complement the government’s effort.
“You have earned a lot, if you spend some of your money for this, it will benefit the country,” she said.
She said the government was moving the country forward and that meant all sections of society would benefit.
“All will have a beautiful and developed life, we are leading the state to this end,” she said.
Minister of Social Affairs Nuruzzaman Ahmed, Minister of State Md. AshrafAli Khan Khasru and Secretary Mahfuza Akhter spoke on the show.
Special child Isaba Hafiz Sushmi, on behalf of all special children with autism syndrome, also spoke at the ceremony.
Later, the Prime Minister attended a colorful cultural function performed by physically disabled children.
Earlier, Social Affairs Minister Nuruzzaman Ahmed, on behalf of the Prime Minister, distributed awards to successful autistic children and to individuals and organizations working for the development of these children.
A documentary on autism screened on the program.
Sheikh Hasina also launched Bolte Chai and Smart Autism Barta apps.
In 2007, the United Nations declared April 2 World Autism Awareness Day, aiming to improve the quality of life for people with autism. In Bangladesh, various programs have been launched to mark this day.
Autism is a lifelong neurological condition that manifests in early childhood, regardless of gender, race, or socioeconomic status.