Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar Inaugurates India’s First ‘Higashi’ Autism School in Delhi

Vice-President of India Sri Jagdeep Dhankar inaugurated the Higashi Autism School in Delhi on Sunday, October 29, 2023. Set up by the Higashi Autism Trust, Japan, the school is located in the Vasant Kunj area of the national capital. The school is India’s first, and world’s third autism school, run by the Higashi trust. Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the school, Vice-President Dhankar said that collective efforts should converge to ensure a life of dignity and pride to children with special needs, to help them achieve their sense of ‘selfhood and inclusion.’

Addressing the ceremony, the Vice-President further called upon fathers to step in and provide a helping hand to mothers who take care of all responsibilities of the special needs of children. “It is the mother who takes all responsibility on her shoulders, sacrificing every comfort to ensure the growth of her autistic child. All efforts should converge to ensure a life of dignity for this very special category of children,” Jagdeep Dhankar was quoted as saying in an official PIB release. 

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“I specially call upon the people of my gender, they must work shoulder to shoulder with their spouses to take care of a special child. Don’t leave them alone! You’ll lose your humane face! You’ll forfeit your right to be a member of mankind, if you evade responsibility when your child is facing a challenge & your spouse is bearing it all alone,” he added. 

He further underlined that while helping out children with Autism, the ‘One-Size-fits-all’ formula doesn’t fit well. Stating that every child is special, and every child has specific needs, he further stressed on the importance of exposing children to the wider world, regardless of the challenges they face in their individual personalities. 

Hailing the Approach to Yoga Therapy (IAYT) and Daily Life Therapy, he said that these ‘impactful approaches’ help empower children so that “they become productive and involved members of that society, to bring pride to families who were there in despair and fatigue.”Notably, besides the third Higashi Autism School in Delhi, the Higashi Trust operates similar schools in Tokyo and Boston. 

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