Avoid social networking on Nov 1 for a cause

However, come November 1, the 4.5 billion social networking users across the world, including 33 million in India, will be asked to do precisely that.

The idea is to bring to focus the daily challenges faced by people with autism in social communication.

The global initiative, called “Communication Shutdown,” will be on across 40 countries to create awareness and raise funds for charity for Autism.

“By choosing to shutdown their social networks for one day, users will have some idea of what it’s like for people with autism who face this challenge every day,” those behind the initiative say.

A special website, www.communicationshutdown.org, has been set up to create awareness about the campaign.

The campaign has been refreshing, considering that social networking platforms have been used increasingly for such activities in recent times. In one such campaign, women on Facebook chose to reveal the colour of their bras to create awareness on breast cancer.

The Communication Shutdown campaign also encourages Facebook and Twitter users to make a donation and receive a charity “app” or “CHAPP” that will signal their support and intention to “boycott” their social networking accounts on November 1. Ramesh Vangal, whose only child is autistic, and who along with his wife Katharin started the Asha Foundation Trust to help differently abled children with a focus on those suffering from autism, has said in a statement that the campaign is aimed at creating awareness about Autism. 

“My only child is autistic and I am, therefore, intimately aware of the challenges they live through in their daily life.  They are misunderstood, socially isolated and live in their own world, shut-off from the mainstream. Communication Shutdown is a simple effort to make people feel what autistic individuals go through in their everyday lives,” says Vangal.
The Communication Shutdown initiative was started by an organisation called the AEIOU Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that provides early intervention therapy for children with autism in Australia.

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