AUTISM awareness running events in Mumbai: Thank You Sayuri & Khushi
2nd April was World Autism Awareness Day.
So this entire month of April was dedicated by organizations, groups and even individuals across countries to raise awareness about Autism.
It is essential to raise awareness about Autism, but why?
Not because the world needs to know what it does or how it affects someone who has been diagnosed with it, but rather to let them know that it’s not a disease, it’s a state of mind, a neuro-developmental disorder and the most important aspect of all being, “not to treat someone who is affected by it disrespectfully or with a smirk or make fun of them”. But understand the fight they are going through each and every day and that too with a smile across their faces.
The more you know about it, the easier it is to understand how important empathy and not sympathy, is for them and at the same time the support or merely the cheer that you can showcase for the parents who are dealing with it each day.
For those of you who are reading about it for the very first time, “Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child’s life. The signs typically develop gradually, but some children with autism will reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then regress.”
Well, the one above is the Wikipedia definition, but I prefer the one given below (Courtesy – Awetism Run 2015 – Mumbai).
I have also shared few pictures clicked by amazing volunteers across two such 10Kms running Autism awareness events in Mumbai this month. For the complete set of pictures and more details about the events, you can visit the site links I have shared in this post:
As part of the scores of events to raise awareness about Autism, I was lucky enough to be a part of two such events this month. Both were 10Kms running events in Mumbai with a simple and clear idea to raise more awareness.
But you know what the best part was, I saw many (with Autism) actually participating in these 10 Km runs and finishing it gloriously. If I could, I honestly would have posted a video of myself bowing down to them and their parents, right now. The sight was so amazingly inspiring and moving.
The following two events were 10 Kms running events towards the same cause:
The first one I attended was in Bandra, near Taj Lands End in Mumbai by Khushi under the event name of “Causeathon 2015”.
The run was for the cause of Autism- wherein the “a” in ‘Cause-a-thon’ represents Autism.
An amazing part of this event was that, most of the responsibilities were handled (with supervision) by kids who have special needs and some who have Autism. Not only that, at the end of the race, these kids also gave away medals to the finishers and then refreshments, water and the highlight of the event was that they also performed and compered at the event.
But my personal favourite was when I saw them running at this event. Some ran 1km and some even ran for 10Kms. I stopped and cheered each time I saw them, because it was simply a beautiful sight. Here are few pictures from the event.
“Cause-a-thon 2015” was an amazing event and we learnt so much from these kids about ‘hope, motivation and inspiration’, it was truly an eye-opener. Some links, pictures about the event and its website:
One very important learning I took from this event was their quote –
“You have to TAKE away a lot from Cause-a-thon for just running on one day will not lead to awareness, we would request all of you to promise that whenever you come across any child/adult with any kind of a special need or in simple words who is DIFFERENT, we will not show sympathy but have EMPATHY towards them. We will ACCEPT them without being JUDGEMENTAL.”
The other one was hosted by Ms.Sayuri Dalvi who, might I honestly say, outdid every single Marathon and running event (other than Causeathon 2015 ofcourse, because it was equally spectacular) I have attended in the past 1 year. It was awesome!
Sayuri organized it all alone to begin with and her energy, enthusiasm and her sincerity towards the cause, soon was seen to attract lots of people and organizations sponsoring different activities during this event.
We could also meet Mr.Angad, Mumbai’s first blade runner. You are amazing!
But needless to say, the event was an amazing hit. Some very memorable moments were when we saw the kids who were affected by Autism being a part of this amazing event experience. Each and every one of these kids inspired us and we loved it. We saw some of them even running the 10Kms stretch which started from Mulund Flyover towards Vikhroli and then back at the Eastern Express Highway on 26th April 2015.
You can read more about this amazing event and the scores of runners experiences mentioned in the facebook link given above.
Both Khushi and Sayuri motivated us, taught us to understand this aspect of our lives and to be honest, I am sure, these two events have instilled more empathy and understanding and most importantly a tremendous amount of inspiration and respect for the individuals and their families who experience this with a smile across their face and hope each and every day of their lives.
Kudos to all for making these events happen and a sincere salute to the kids doing it so effortlessly.
You inspire us!
God bless you and we hope we keep learning from all of you every single day.
YOU ARE POWER, YOU ARE INSPIRATION, YOUR SMILES MAKES US TRULY BELIEVE, THAT THERE ARE GODS FAVORITE CHILDREN AND THEY ARE YOU.
Stay blessed, always!
Check out the video too –
Know more about Autism: https://www.autismspeaks.org