KARACHI - Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that the establishment of Centre for Autism Rehabilitation and Training (C-ARTS) in the public sector is a great achievement of the Sindh government.

He directed Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to establish its satellite centres in rural areas of the province. “Our poor people living in rural areas of the province have no knowledge of Autism and if someone manages to diagnose the problem in his child he has no resources to rehabilitate the child,” he said and announced establishment of such centres in rural areas of the province.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was addressing the inaugural ceremony C-ARTS at Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Karachi.

The PPP chairman said that rehabilitation of the children with autism is a gigantic task that involves some dedicated professionals who have not only know the delicacy of problem but must have a tender and loving heart. “The children with autism need our love, care and affection for rehabilitation,” he stressed.

He appreciated Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah for establishing such a beautiful centre when more 15,000 children have been enrolled. “I quite happy to see the parents of the children with Autism are being given training to handle their children,” he said and added this state-of-art institute would flourish and provide its best services because it has a best team to run and look after it.

Prevalence of Autism spectrum disorder in America is one in

168

children

On the occasion, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that Autism is a neurological development disorder which is characterized by deficits in communication, social interaction and repetitive behaviour.

Quoting Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) reports, Mr Shah said that prevalence of Autism spectrum disorder is in one in 168 children in United Sates. “In Pakistan although statistics are not available to us but by the number of cases reported in government and private sector indicated autism to be at a rise in our country.” He added, “thus there remains an urgent need is to have trained professionals who can diagnose the condition and then rehab specialist who can provide treatment facilities, in government sector to children with autism.”

The chief minister said that the provincial government has always maintained the health of its people as an utmost priority, even more so where children are concerned. “So it gives me great pleasure to announce that the centre (C-ARTS) formally inaugurated by Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is first of its kind in Pakistan,” he said and added the government institution that would cater to children of all ages with autism, it would be home to the world’s best practices.

He said that too long have private institutions taken advantage of desperate parents and charged astronomical rates. The C-ARTS would provide all those services and more free of cost, he announced.

Murad Shah said that in addition to academics, C-ARTS would take special interest in developing skills that these children could use latter on to avail employment opportunities. “Aiding them in this long journey will be multifaceted team including but not limited to special educators, occupational therapists, psychologists, speech therapists and skilled trainers that is sports, music and art,” he said and added “it is equipped with a consultant clinic that will provide medical provisions to the children when required at all stages.

Earlier, Dr Nabila Soomro briefed the PPP chairman about different stages being adopted to diagnose the problem and rehabilitate the affected children.

Earlier, PPP Bilawal Butto Zardari cut the ribbon to inaugurate the newly-constructed multi-story building of the C-ARTS and then visited different class rooms. He affectionately interacted with the children with Autism in the class rooms.

CM’s Special Assistant Qasim Naveed also briefed the chairman about the centre. Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani, Advisor to Chief Minister Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah and others were present on the occasion.  

The children with Autism presented tableaus on national song and to welcome PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto. The parents of the children also spoke on the occasion and said that they had been taking their children with autism to different private institutions but failed to receive such amazing services as were being provided here. They also lauded the efforts of Sindh government.

BILAWAL LEAVES FOR DUBAI ON TWO-DAY VISIT TO MEET SANAM BHUTTO

Meanwhile, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari flew to Dubai on a two-day private visit.

The PPP chairman will meet Sanam Bhutto and Bakhtawar Bhutto in Dubai and will return after two days. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will inaugurate the first-ever power generation plant feeding the national grid with indigenous Thar Coal electricity near Islamkot on April 10 and will also address a public meeting in Ghotki on April 12.