Reporting by Arham Khan
On World Autism Awareness Day, residents of Islamabad took to the streets on their bicycles – to learn more and spread awareness about autism
This year, the theme is ‘empowering women and girls with autism’. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, “On World Autism Awareness Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to promote the full participation of all people with autism, and ensure they have the necessary support to be able to exercise their rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Keeping in line with the theme, a number of women in Islamabad geared up for the bicycle rally at F9 Park. Experts say one out of every 68 children is found to be autistic in Pakistan. The Autism Society of Pakistan estimates the number of autistic children in the country is 350,000.
“All autistic children carry certain capabilities,” said a doctor. “We should understand their needs and accept them open-heartedly as valuable citizens.”
One rally participant pointed towards how parents feel ashamed if their children are autistic. Another cyclist said the aim of their rally was to convey the message that autistic children are not alone. “We are all with them,” she said.