On World Autism Awareness Day on Wednesday, parts of the city will be resplendent in blue.
To create awareness about the brain development disorder, over a dozen buildings in various parts of Chennai will light up their premises.
The buildings include both government and private enterprises — Ripon Buildings, the office of the director general of police, a number of hotels and restaurants, Sathyam cinemas, Apollo Specialty Hospitals, Express Avenue mall, IIT-Madras — and a few residential buildings that are partnering with non-govern- mental organisations to go blue this year, a press release said on Tuesday.
We CAN, an organisation that works with individuals with autism, in collaboration with SPASTN (The Spastics Society of Tamil Nadu), is organising several of the awareness initiatives. Other organisations too, have planned events.
M. Mahadevan, chairman and managing director, Oriental Cuisines, said this is the fourth year his restaurants will be lit up.
“The cause is close to our heart and we take pleasure in creating awareness. Our employees too know about the condition and are sensitised towards it,” he said.
‘Light it up blue for Autism’ apart, a number of initiatives have been planned for the entire month.
Posters are being put up in salons, yoga studios and coffee outlets, and pamphlets are being distributed. Some schools have also partnered with the NGOs to conduct awareness rallies and talks.
EuroKids, a pre-school, has asked its students to come dressed in blue on Wednesday, as have a few corporate organisations.
“Autism, in many ways, is still an invisible disability. This is part of our efforts to get more people to understand what the condition is and find out what they can do to support those who have it,” said Beena Prithiveeraj, a special educator at We CAN. It is estimated that two million people in the country may be in the autism spectrum disorder.