For parents of children with autism, a constant worry is who would look after their child once they are gone. Bhubaneswar-based Zain Foundation is resolutely focused on alleviating this worry.
With the aim of raising awareness as well as dispelling myths around autism, the Zain Foundation began organising rides using superbikes and jeeps. These rides began in the Autism Awareness Month- April- with four rides being held in Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Chennai and Pune before the second wave of COVID-19.
"Autism is a neurological disorder and people in the spectrum are socially and communicably impaired, even though they have skills and capacities that could be trained to become constructive. They need to be included in our social fabric, in schools, workplaces and other areas," Gargi Bhattacharya, founder member and trustee of the Zain Foundation, said.
The rides also took place in Bengaluru from Vidhana Soudha in the city to Nandi Hills, where the Special Initiative Riders organised bike rides which were joined by jeep enthusiasts, the Mudsters.
"There is a need to raise awareness through objects of interest for the youth and this is what makes these campaigns successful - hence the bikes and jeeps. The purpose of these awareness rides was to make known, that those with autism need to be accepted and their condition dealt with, with consideration and dignity," Ms Bhattacharya said.
"The autism community struggles to get favourable laws in place to support them but if the youth are sensitised, getting these laws in place would become much easier in the future when they become decision makers of the country," she added.