Lending voice for a cause

TO HELP the National Centre for Autism come up with its own building premises and to build effective services for such persons in the Capital, Action for Autism (AFA) will host a benefit concert "Sur Mantra'' by renowned singer Shuba Mudgal this week-end.

``Besides raising awareness about autism, the concert hopes to get community support for this developmental disorder,'' says Merry Barua, Director, AFA. "Autism is a developmental disability primarily affecting communication and social skills, which can make life particularly challenging for those affected and their families''. Current research indicates that one in every 125 newborns will have an autism spectrum disorder and as many as 80 per cent of these are boys. "We have held several such annual benefit cum awareness concerts in the past,'' says Ms. Barua, adding that AFA is a parent-directed and parent-supported organisation.

Sharing more information about autism, she adds: "It primarily affects the communication and social skills of people and the way they perceive the environment. Children with autism typically have uneven skill development. However, with appropriate intervention, as well as an understanding, aware and encouraging environment, all children with autism can grow and learn skills that help them to lead more independent lives''.

Shuba Mudgal's concert on November 2 (Saturday) will be centered around Khayal and Thumri-Dadra. During the course of her performance, she will create awareness about autism and the range of community services that AFA provides for persons living with this enigmatic disability.

By Kannan K.

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