Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today described the people with autism as an integral part of society, calling upon all to stand beside them to unfold their hidden talents.
"Don't neglect the people with autism ... they are an integral part of our society," she told the inaugural function of the 11th World Autism Awareness Day at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre this morning, reports BSS.
The prime minister mentioned that they have many talents which are absent among the many people with sound health. "We'll have to create a scope for them to flourish those talents," she added.
The Ministry of Social Affairs arranged the function with Social Affairs Minister Rashed Khan Menon in the chair.
Health Minister Mohammad Nasim, State Minister for Social Affairs Nuruzzaman Ahmed and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Affairs Dr Mozammel Hossain also spoke as the special guests, while Social Affairs Secretary Zillar Rahman delivered the welcome address.
On behalf of the children with autism, Isaba Hafiz Sushmi, a class nine student of a school in the capital, also addressed the function.
The day is being observed in the country as elsewhere across the globe with the theme --"Empowering Women and Girls with Autism".
The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared April 2 as the World Autism Awareness Day to highlight the needs to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder.
At the function, Sheikh Hasina handed over awards to three children with autism in recognition of their contributions to different fields and some individuals and organisations for their role in building awareness about autism.