By Nicole Hegewald
The Information Resource Centre (IRC) for Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, Rotary Bangalore West, and the Academy for Severe Handicaps and Autism (ASHA), a non-governmental organization (NGO), held their fourth annual autism awareness walk on Sunday, December 6, 2009. State governor HR Bharadawj was pleased to speak at the inauguration. He said that he believes the Persons with Disability Act 1995 should be amended to include autism and longs to and create access for treatment of the condition.
“It is commendable that the awareness campaign has been taken up in Bangalore. However, there is a need for an all-India campaign. I will take up the issue of including autism in the Persons with Disability (PWD) Act, 1995, with the Union Government,” the Governor said.
ASHA has been waiting for this day for over 14 years. The walk started at Raj Bhavan and ended at Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in Bangalore, India. Over 200 people including children with autism and their parents made their way down Salem Bye Pass on the ten minute walk.
VR Ramesh, head of an information resource center for autism and other disabilities, said early medical intervention with autism will aid in a better development for a child with autism, although there is currently no cure.
“Parents need moral support and that is where NGOs come in,” Ramesh said.
There are about 3,000 children in Bangalore, India who suffer from autism and VR Ramesh and HR Bharadawj both commented on the alarmingly growing rate of worldwide autism cases.