Saturday, 25 September, 2021
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Autism is not a tragedy but ignorance is

Autism is not a tragedy but ignorance is

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Amidst these hard knocks and outbreak of virus, when headlines are all about inflating infection rate and disruption in human lifestyle, a new headline pops out after the telecast of a particular drama. According to that particular drama, children with special needs are born in families owing to the aftermath of their delinquency.

The actuality is not backed up by any medical evidence or religious frame of reference. The notion that birth of a special childis the repercussion of parents’ deeds violates the virtue of the special child, breaches the constitutional rights and is in extreme opposition to the Protection of the Rights of people with Disabilities Act 2013. The message conveyed through the drama unveils inference of absurdity and unrelenting nature. Many have laid out their resentment on social media and has prevailed it under observation as intensively negative message is conveyed with reference to the birth of special child. Individuals involved with the making of drama may not be enlightened about constitutional rights and the Protection of the Rights of People with Disabilities Act 2013 for which the drama has received its chunk of detestation.

In order to enact the human dignity and constitutional rights of people with disabilities, the Government of Bangladesh has pioneered the 'Protection of Rights of People with Disabilities Act 2013'. If the practice of culture does not indoctrinate a person to show respect and if it is devoid of conscience, then it unfolds the dissolution of civilization.

There are many families who perceived it to be strikingly unkind and humiliated to envision what has been portrayed. Being a part of such a family where I had an elder sister suffering from autism, this theme has really shaken me from inside, witnessing the shrinkage of morality and literacy ingrained in community. Thanks to the indefatigable endeavour of parents and siblings who stand against all odds and insure a place for their loved ones who are characterised as ‘special children”. Please be accommodating and lend your hands to those families for support and empathy who have a special child rather than cooking up storm all over social media to illustrate how much you care for them.  As a sibling to a special child, I feel it is my obligation to let people know that we still dote on our siblings with special needs notwithstanding how intermittently we are pinned down by society.

Families put themselves out to become immune to the stares, the allegations of abuse and the snide remarks. Having a mother who somehow found the tenacity to withdraw from the stares, fight for my sister’s development and growth and pound this ideology into me that it did not matter what others thought, made a huge difference for me to evolve better as an individual.

This reminds me of a quote saying “Special children parents’ are equivalent to Batman, Captain America and the Incredible Hulk with a combination of Mary Poppins”. Lastly, mankind is a blessing and has something to serve the civilization. If this is what we affirm and depict on screen, then we have a lot to comprehend about civilization. Before portraying such sensitive content, script writers must be apprehensive of what he is trying to depict so that it does not rear turmoil among individuals and defy civil rights.

 

Nahida Islam Purni, Dhaka University