Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today gave in-principle approval to the setting up of a state-of-the-art Advanced Research and Treatment Centre at Mohali for people suffering from autism. He took the decision while presiding over a meeting with medical experts, doctors and NGOs dealing with such patients and underscored the need to draw a time-bound action plan to effectively tackle the incidence of autism in the state.
The Chief Minister was told that according to a study, in India, on an average one in every 1,000 person suffers from autism whereas in the USA the incidence is 100 per 1,000 persons. Badal asked Greater Mohali Area Development Authority to earmark suitable land for the Centre which would house an institute for providing diploma course for educators to impart special education to children suffering from autism, besides providing research and health care facilities. At a later stage, satellite centres would be set up at all district headquarters to provide the best healthcare facilitates to those suffering from autism, he said.
Badal directed the health department to sensitise medical boards at all district headquarters to issue disability certificate to persons suffering from autism and pro-actively take up the issue with the education department for admission of autistic children in normal schools. This step would not only inculcate a sense of equality, belonging and self-respect but also save them from discrimination and inferiority complex, he said.
Badal told Ajit Awasthi, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, PGIMER to prepare a detailed blueprint within a month for setting up of the centre besides suggesting ways and means to establish special wings for autism at the Government Medical Colleges in Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot. He appreciated the role of Red Cross Society, Faridkot for successfully running an institute for imparting skill training and education to the people suffering from autism and asked other Red Cross Societies to replicate this. PTI