On the occasion of the World Autism Awareness Day, on 7 April 2018 National Human Rights Commission organized a discussion and a cultural event participated by the special children and recognized the special contribution of them at the Brac Inn Centre. Speaking as the Chief Guest Prime Minister’s International Affairs Advisor Dr. Gowher Rizvi said, “People with autism are important part of our society. We have to accept them with their differences. Government is very much sensitive to include them in the mainstream of development. In our country, there are laws to establish their rights but the proper application of the laws has not been assured yet.”
In the speech as the Special Guest, Mia Seppo, Resident Coordinator of United Nations said, “NHRC has included autism with all type of disabilities to the protection of rights of disabled persons’ related national working plan and sent it to Ministry which is very timely step. I hope that Government will take proper steps to fulfill this work plan.”
Kazi Reazul Hoque, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, said, “People with autism face challenge in every sector. In Bangladesh, Protection of Persons with Disabilities Trust Law 2013 has been formed but the law has not been implemented properly. To raise the awareness about the law, wide publicity about the law is needed. NHRC will request by sending letter to Cabinet Ministry for taking necessary steps to discuss about autism in every District Coordination Meting”. He also added, “Because of the initiatives of Prime Minister’s Daughter Saima Wazed, awareness about autism has been raised. Government has to monitor whether the opportunities which has been provided to persons with autism have been utilized properly or not and the government officials who are assigned to provide the opportunities to them, are working properly or not. He also urged to corporate institutions to take responsibilities to flourish the potentiality of the special children.
Among other discussants, Dr Mazharul Mannan, Executive committee member, Suchona Foundation said, “Government has enough initiatives for the establishment of disabled children’s rights and dignities. But these initiatives will be succeeded if the parents of these children bring them to mainstream and protest against the negligence of society to them.”
Gazi Md. Nurul Kabir, Director General, Department of Social Service said, “The National Action Plan about protection of the rights of disabled persons sent by NHRC is at the final stage. Officers will be sent to the school related to Autism and give stipend to special children who are yet to get it.”
Professor Golam Rabbani, Chairperson, Neuro Development Disabilities Protection Trustee Board, Social Welfare Ministry, presented the keynote paper titled, “Empowerment of the People with Autism including Women and Children”. Col. Md. Sahidul Alam, Executive Director and Principal, Proyash; Rounok Hafiz, Chairperson, Autism Welfare Foundation; Professor Dr. Abdus Salam, BIRDEM and Sayeda Munira Islam, Creative Director, RTV were present as the discussants.