Did you know that 50 million children in India live with or are at risk of developmental disabilities and that one in six families has a child with developmental disabilities? In fact, The Rehabilitation Council of India statistics state that the ratio of therapists to kids with special needs is 1: 600. Today, April 2, is earmarked by the United Nations as World Autism Awareness Day. This day is part of a global movement to raise awareness regarding autism and increase understanding about the importance of early diagnosis and intervention and the need for lifetime support for children and families impacted by autism. On this day, seven continents, 142 countries and 18,602 buildings turn blue as part of the Light It Up Blue campaign initiated by an international organisation, Autism Speaks.
As part of World Autism Awareness Day, Ummeed Child Development Center, Mumbai, had organised an awareness campaign including iconic Mumbai landmarks such as the Sea Link, Taj Mahal Hotel, Royal Opera House, Jaslok Hospital and Cipla House to light up blue on April 2 last year. This year the campaign is even stronger and we hope to spread awareness on autism as buildings across the city light up blue. These include Charkha Sculpture at Cross Maidan, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya (CSMVS) Museum, Essar House, Express Towers, Headquarters: Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (BMC Buildings), Jaslok Hospital, Jindal Mansion, Kalaghoda Statue, Royal Opera House, Reliance Foundation Hospital, SRCC Hospital and Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. The apparel store, JADE, on Pedder Road will be curating a blue window display with the messaging for World Autism Awareness Day.