While many stories are heard of selfless parents sacrificing everything for their children, who suffer from autism, not many anecdotes can be found where the roles are reversed. In most cases, the gratitude remains undocumented.
But thanks to United News of Bangladesh (UNB), Dhaka Courier and The Structural Engineers Ltd (SEL), this was made possible where twenty five children from Society for the Welfare of Autistic Children (SWAC) were selected to cook up delectable delights for their parents in a cooking show titled “Cooking an Eid Smile”.
The children were divided in five groups and each of the groups cooked dishes in the kitchen with the support of the chefs. After finishing the cooking and other activities, the children served the food to their parents themselves and had their lunch together.
Apart from cooking, the children also enjoyed the day singing, dancing, painting and reciting poems.
Founder parent and Chairman of SWAC Subarna Chakma said that the children actively participated in the programme and enjoyed the day doing different activities, especially cooking. She added that most of them did not believe that they could pull it off, but if it was possible to assume what they were thinking, she was sure the children were happy with the end result.
Sabina Hossain, Director (Education & Training) and also one of the founder parents of SWAC, said the programme itself is something new. People who work for autism always put their efforts for the inclusion of the people with autism in the mainstream society and lifestyle, said Sabina urging everyone to come forward and work for bringing autistic individuals into the mainstream society.
Participation of these children in this kind of programme proves that they can also include themselves in the mainstream society if given proper environment, she said adding that children with autism can do creative works and they also have the right to celebrate Eid like any other people.
Keerthi Weragoda, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Park Residence Hotel, distributed gifts and prizes among the participants. He also appreciated the lively participation of the children.
SWAC was founded with the aim of educating, training and rehabilitating children, adolescents and adults with autism to develop and perform to their fullest potential, making them independent and active members of the society, enabling them to integrate and contribute to the mainstream of national development and establishing their rights as citizens of this country.
A pioneer in the field of autism schools in Bangladesh, they have been operating for the last seventeen years, and its success stories have spread through words of mouth. SWAC’s long waiting list of candidates is a testament to its credibility.