As April is an autism month, The Special Parents Support Group organised an autism awareness walk on Sunday, April 24 at Kadri Park. The walkathon was successfully conducted under the aegis of Meena Noronha, the founder of the group.
Meena Noronha, who is also a parent of a child with special needs, had urged all the participants to come dressed in blue for the walk-in support of the special children. She said the walk was being held to help make Mangaluru an inclusive society by bringing together families especially parents with similar struggles and challenges.
The Special Parents Support Group will work towards forming a network of support for parents and also to bring joy, love, respect and laughter into their special lives – their children, she said.
There is a need to bring these special children to one place in the city and to the forefront so that equal and more opportunities are provided to them, be it in school, centres, events, workplaces or society at large adding that special children need to be integrated into the society she added.
“There is societal, emotional, mental and financial pressure on all special parents. They hesitate to bring their special ones out in the open fearing ridicule, and difficulties due to non-acceptance by society. Hence a support system helps them in gaining the strength to go through this journey,” Noronha said.
The support group was started two and a half years ago during the pandemic which started operations in the month of December 2021. The walkathon was also followed by different activities for the children.