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Free concert for Autism by 1974 AD at Tudikhel on March 18 from 5pm onwards

The concert will both raise awareness and celebrate people who have neurodevelopmental differences.

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KATHMANDU: The Kathmandu Metropolitan City, AutismCare Nepal Society (ACNS), and the popular Nepali rock band 1974AD are collaborating to stage a free Concert for Autism on March 18, 2023, at 5pm in Tundikhel.

The concert will both raise awareness and celebrate people who have neurodevelopmental differences. The Australian Embassy is pleased to support this event.

It is estimated that 300,000 Nepalese children have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism affects people of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Early intervention can help children develop their learning, communication, and social skills, as well as their underlying brain development.

According to Chairperson of AutismCare Nepal Society, Dr Sunita Malekhu, “Autism is rarely discussed and there is limited public knowledge of this disorder despite its prevalence in Nepal. Parents, health professionals, community stakeholders are quite unaware about child development delays and differences, leading to late diagnosis.

“It is crucial to share information on these issues, raise awareness and help our people to recognise this condition at an early age. Given timely diagnosis and treatment, people with autism can lead fairly functional lives with modest support.

“ACNS believes this concert will create history to #EmbraceAutism and ensure better recognition, understanding, acceptance, visibility and action for autism to guarantee social inclusion.”

Deputy Mayor of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Sunita Dangol, said that KMC has made disability inclusion a special priority and is working with different organisations to realise this. “I call everyone to participate in the special awareness campaign and Concert for Autism,” Deputy Mayor Dangol said.

Australian Ambassador to Nepal, HE Felicity Volk said the Australian Government similarly prioritises disability inclusive development. “This concert is history-making,” Ambassador Volk said, “but it is one moment in time. When concert-goers leave Tudhikhel on Saturday night, filled with the energy and passion that comes from listening to one of the world’s greatest rock bands, my hope and prayer is that they’ll use that energy to share the message #EmbraceAutism.

“And I hope they’ll find practical ways to support neuro-diverse people in the weeks, months and years to come. Because there is great beauty and strength in our uniqueness.”

The 1974AD has said, “1974AD band members #EmbraceAutism. We are very glad to be performing our Concert for Autism and hope this event will be instrumental in spreading messages about autism. Autism speaks and it is time we listen.”