“Be the change you want to see,” the Mahatma had said. This is the diktat several people have lived by, doing their bit for society. Now, activists in the city are hoping to draw the spotlight onto various pressing social issues by organising special programmes to coincide with Mahatma Gandhi’s 144th birth anniversary.
Various organisations working with special children will organise a ‘satyagraha’ at Freedom Park here to draw the government’s attention to autism. “Considering that autism does not find a place in the government’s view of disability, parents and activists will be taking part in a satyagraha to bring attention to this neurological disorder,” said Mahendra Pyati, trustee of the Nav Prabhuti Trust, which focusses on inclusion of persons with disabilities in mainstream work.
“Unless the government steps in, schools providing support to autistic children will soon have to be shut down,” says Jayashree Ramesh, director, Asha for Autism.
The team is demanding that the new disability Bill be tabled in the winter session of Parliament before the next general elections.
For the homeless
As part of the Joy of Giving Week, ActionAid is organising ‘Under the Stars’, a nationwide campaign for the homeless on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti. Nearly 450 Bangaloreans will spend a night out in the open at the ITBP Ascendas Cricket Ground to experience the difficulties faced by the homeless.
“Participants have been asked to come with a pillow, blankets and maybe a sleeping bag. We are just asking the participants to rough it out,” said Rajan Narayanan, a volunteer.
Dollu kunita dancers will keep participants company, and a bonfire and food stalls will also be organised.
The Bangalore event has so far raised close to Rs. 10 lakh.
Total Yoga, a yoga training centre, is organising a ‘Clean Cubbon Park’ drive on Wednesday.
“The clean-up drive will have volunteers rid the park (approximately 30 acres) of plastic bags, papers and other rubbish, which will be deposited in huge dustbins,” a press statement from the organisers said.