Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor on Wednesday cautioned against the misuse of public funds in the name of establishing institutions for children with autism or other disorders and disabilities.
The minister said: “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is giving priority to autism, but some dishonest people are trying to take advantage of this by misusing the government budget in the name of building institutions for special children.”
Asaduzzaman made the comments while addressing the inauguration of a four-day long photo exhibition on the everyday life of autistic children, organized by the Institute of Pediatric Neurodisorder and Autism (IPNA) of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) at Bangladesh National Museum on Wednesday.
IPNA organized the photo exhibition to observe International Autism Awareness Day 2018. The exhibition will remain open to visitors till Saturday, April 7.
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The cultural affairs minister lights a candle to inaugurate the IPNA photo exhibition organized to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day 2018 Courtesy
Asaduzzaman Noor said: "Many people are founding institutions for autistic children without having the proper skills, training, or facilities. This is a misuse of government funds. Before approving any institute for autism, the authorities need to investigate the capacity of the institution."
The minister also praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her daughter Saima Wazed Hossain for raising awareness of autism and helping autistic children gain social acceptance.
"We have to be more cordial and affectionate to specially-abled children when they are growing up, so that one day they can contribute to society,” he said.
Vice-Chancellor of BSMMU Professor Kanak Kanti Barua, IPNA Project Director Dr Shahin Aktar, and chief photographer of the exhibition Shankar Sawjal also spoke at the program.