An Autism Awareness Activity is being conducted by Club Felix, MIT WPU’s very own social service club, from 22nd August, 2018, Wednesday to 24th August, 2018, Friday. This activity aims to, primarily, raise awareness about autism, and secondarily, raise money for NGOs helping Autistic children by selling Rakhis made by autistic kids on the account of Rakshabandhan.
The Inauguration Ceremony for this activity took place in the afternoon of 22nd August, 2018. Invitations for this ceremony had been sent to all the officials of MIT WPU on 20th and 21st August. Several officials attended, like Grp. Capt. Apte who is the Registrar of MIT WPU, Prof. Dr. L. K. Kshirsagar who is the Dean of B.Tech, Prof. Dr. Suhasini Desai who is the Associate Dean of Faculty of Education, Prof. Dr. Prasad Kahndekar who is the Dean of Faculty Affairs, Prof. Dr. Sudhir Gavhane who is the Director of the Rural Immersion Program, Prof. Dr. Neeta Kankane from the Department of Mathematics, and Prof. Dr. Milind Patre who is the Head Of Department of World Peace Studies. Ms Neelam Pandit and Prof. Dr. Ajit B. Deore were present as mentors of Club Felix.
From Thane, we were graced by the presence of Sayali and Raju, two autistic children from the Jagruti Palak Sanstha. They were accompanied by their parents, and the Founder of JPS, Mrs. Shyamshree A. Bhonsle.
The representatives of the Jagruti Palak Sanstha were received by Club Leader Sakshi Reddy and a Club member Janhavi Pradhan at 1pm. They were given a warm welcome by the audience, which comprised of students from all over MIT WPU. A welcome speech and a short introduction about the club was given by Ms Neelam Pandit. Aniket Singh, Club Felix Representative, then briefed the audience and dignitaries about the theme of the event.
Grp. Capt. D. I. Apte shared his knowledge about Therapy for the brain to eradicate mental disorders like Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimers, migraines, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder etc. He talked about his research in the areas of the brain, and extended his help of therapy to Jagruti Palak Sanstha.
The members of Jagruti Palak Sanstha were then felicitated by the Officials of MIT-WPU with a shawl, a frame of St. Dyaneshwara, the World Peace Prayer and a coconut. Mrs. Shyajshree Bhonsle was felicitated by Grp. Capt. Apte, and Manisha Ma’am, Sayali’s mother, was felicitated by Prof. Dr. L.K. Kshirsagar. Sayali and Raju were felicitated with chocolates by Prof. Dr. Sudhir Gavhane.
Mrs Shyamshree Bhonsle then gave a short speech about Jagruti Palak Sanstha. She encouraged us, that along with awareness about Autism, we should also educate people on measures of preventing Autism. Her words inspired us all. A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony followed. With the help of Club members and their mentors, Sayali and Raju officialy declared the event open. A ceremonious Rakhi-tying took place. Sayali tied Rakhis to Prof. Dr. Suhasini Desai, and Prof. Dr. L. K. Kshirsagar.
The highlight of this ceremony was the street play performed by Club Felix. The aim of this play was to change the perspective of people on autism and to spread the message “People affected by autism are no different from us. We should not isolate them; instead we should help and get to know them, and try to make this world a better place for them.”
The actors gave a hair-raising performance, and it was well-appreciated by everyone present. A Vote of Thanks was presented by Club Member Shrenik Shingi. The Club Leaders thanked everyone for attending and their special support in this activity.
A reminder about the location and timings of the stalls was given to the crowds with the conclusion. The ceremony ended positively, with a thunderous round of applause. All in all, a very successful Opening Ceremony, to what will be hopefully, a very successful activity.