Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai, turned blue last year Image: Instagram
If you spot your city and its people turning blue today, it's not a Monday thing. It is an endeavour in honour of World Autism Awareness Day, celebrated on April 2 every year.
This is a part of the #LightItUpBlue campaign spearheaded by the autism community to help us — those not afflicted by the ailment — understand and accept the ones suffering from autism.
If you are one of those sceptical ones, wondering if this is just a gimmick, here's why it is so relevant to India. It is estimated that one in every 68 children is diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the country.
Now the number may not be that large. But imagine this — when these kids are enrolled in mainstream educational institutes, the staff almost always has no idea about their special needs. Eventually, after years of being ridiculed or chastised for their inability to grasp things, they are asked to leave, thereby shunting their normal growth.
Hence, it is imperative for teachers and parents to be aware of and sensitive towards those who show signs of autism. And ask questions whenever in doubt. So, if you spot the iconic Qutub Minar in Delhi or the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai turn blue today, don't forget to click a picture and share it on social media.
Here's how Twitter is abuzz about the day and its significance:
Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Let us work towards spreading awareness about autism, and vow to treat autistic people with sensitivity. Bengal is committed to building India's first autism township— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) April 2, 2018
On this World Autism Awareness Day, let us all play a part in changing attitudes toward people with autism & in recognizing their rights as citizens and one of us. pic.twitter.com/4y1CRJsdZq— Dr. C.P. Joshi (@drcpjoshi) April 2, 2018
CM said that development is meaningless if it is not inclusive. The 2018 awareness day focuses on the intersectional discrimination faced by Women and Girls with Autism. The government of Kerala will ensure the participation and development of all people with autism.— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) April 2, 2018
World Autism Awareness Day: about 1% of the EU population has a disorder in the autism spectrum. The European Parliament supports diversity and equal rights. pic.twitter.com/jbatIlH0Q4— European Parliament (@Europarl_EN) April 2, 2018