Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

EVOKATION: AUTISM FOR HELP VILLAGE PROJECT.

AUTISM FOR HELP VILLAGE PROJECT.

by Dr. A.V.Koshy

My email address: terrestrian@gmail.com

My Mobile Phone number: 00218917089565 ( Libya: this is my phone number at present)

THE INTRODUCTION

I believe mankind's future depends on how we treat differently abled people, as to whether we will flourish or perish.

"Where there is no vision the people perish - Hosea/OT."

The PLACE I will “evoke” in is India, most probably in the state of Kerala or Karnataka; more specifically in the close vicinity of Trivandrum and/or Bangalore, the capitals of these states. This is because I know the language and my people in Kerala, and have built up a fund of good will in Bangalore. Ideally I would choose a place near Bangalore but sometimes one can’t choose, so somewhere in Kerala would do as well. If both these places do not welcome the idea and mix up the notion of an autism village with that of a mental asylum, thereby putting up any form of resistance I may look elsewhere in India. However, I believe that if we start with a lot of land – ideally, a thousand acres - but also in a small way, and work with children in the beginning, the locals/natives of whom I also am one are unlikely to offer any resistance. I want to start my evokation by looking at minus points and how I will overcome them so I want to say that at the outset of the project that I will have meetings with local community leaders when the time is ripe and explain to them what I am doing and also about the resultant benefits for the community, to smoothe and pave the way for my venture to succeed. Even after my project is up and running regular local community participation will be eagerly sought for through weeky meetings etc.

A point I need to address right at the beginning is whether my project will do more harm to autistic people than good by supposedly taking them away from main view into a sheltered form of existence. My reasoning is simple on this count: the autism village will not be an isolated place but an open gates project with daily and constant interaction with local, state, regional, zonal, national and international people. There will be planety of activity and going and coming. The only difference is this offers the autistic people an ecologically and environmentally safe space that can be home for them in a larger measure than a family's house would be a home, so that they can not only strive but thrive.

The community will be primarily humanitarian, looking towards the present and future well-being of all autistic peoples, connected mainly to both aestheticism and science in its outlook, but it may also bear the imprint of the work of people like Jean Vanier and Bede Griffiths. It will bear the name of the The Autistic for Help Village Project. The name means that autistic people not only need help but also help us first just by being what they are.

The institution will probably be my own temporarily, to begin with, but I will collaborate with individuals friends and groups I trust like the ones I have met or made on Evoke and with all the groups already working in the field of autism in India first and then abroad. My vision starts from and with South India, spreads through India to Asia and expects to work in equitable partnerships and in tandem with other places from anywhere in the world depending on

a. if these places have only little or no help since I want to address need

b. the level of research and help they can offer and vice versa.

I would need at least 1000 acres space, I think, for this mission to make some sense, geographically speaking; if not at the outset, eventually. Maybe in the beginning I could much smaller with just ten or a hundred acres, since i nthe frst phase I only want to set up a few things like a school and a farm. Later I would expand to residential capability, hospital, medical shop and finally definitely to an orphange, a vocational ttraining centre and/or college and an old age home

Virtually, I will use all the existing popular platforms that are of any technological account to help my dream place in efficient running. I do not think any means too humble or too great for such a venture, as to be left out of it.

Technologically, the space I envision may finally become global if things like tracking and tagging become a part of the lives of these peoples on a large scale. Initially, it would be more compact, technically and technologically speaking, cocentrating on basic essentials like power and water and transportation sufficiencies and virtual necessities like good communication facilities of whic the internet would be on top of the list.

I would need the help of many experienced collaborators and entrepreneurs because I am basically only a visionary, but since my particular vision is not specifically shared by anyone in EVOKE as far as I know, I’ve decided to present a solo Evokation.

The Cause: It all started with my discovery that my son was autistic. There are decisive moments in one’s life, like meeting the resurrected Jesus at Damascus was one for Paul and being asked to get off a train in the middle of nowhere was one for Gandhi when he was in South Africa. Being treated as an “untouchable” was what helped B.R. Ambedkar to realize what his vision should be.

While trying to help my son, I found that no one in my place – Trivandrum - knew much about autism including me and I came across both parents and other children like him and found that they needed help as much as I and my wife and siblings did.

Help is not easily available for such kids in a place like India, especially down South. It is either

a.non –existent or

b.too costly, or

c. found in too few places.

The challenge can be stated thus – more than 1,60,000 people in the USA alone are now labeled autistic. The exact number across the world is unknown but high and the number in India is also unknown but rising rapidly.

They need more from society – more in terms of input in every sense of the term. I believe the appearance of autism in such large numbers, which is a recent phenomenon, is directly connected to

a) the environmental and ecological degradation of our quality of life and nature ( the presence of heavy metals in water, mercury poisoning etc.) brought about by man after the rise of the industrialized economies,

b) our modern lifestyle (including medicines like vaccines, - faulty batches{ there is very little screening in places like India where anything can be bought and sold over the counter in the black market}- the use of steroids during the time of pregnancy and the presence of psychological factors like stress) and

c) of course, genetics, the prime cause.

In a sense, obscurely speaking, autistic people are the children of the lesser gods that we are, and yet better than us in the happiness that they give us. The children are better than the parents in this case, doubtless. There seems to be no one cause for the autism spectrum which I refuse to call a disorder, and since it’s a neurological 'disability' or wiring that makes it a complexity whereby a child is ahead, backward and static at the same time in terms of "growth", not to mention that every autistic child is different from the other that gives rise to the autism “spectrum,” there is no one solution and seemingly no complete, perfect cure; although occasional breakthroughs and recoveries or healings are also reported giving us gleams of hope, at least in a trickle of individual cases as of now.

THE IDEA: These peoples need teachers who are specialists, therapists, psychological counsellors, parents who are given special training, support and education, international, governmental, regional, zonal and local help, spiritual help, help from parent groups, autistic support groups, developmental disability groups, humanitarian help, social and educational networks, medical networks, donors, dentists, pediatricians et al…

How does this tie in with environmental and ecological concerns? Isn’t this merely social entrepreneurship, engineering and innovation?

It ties up with everything.

My start may be selfish but it can exponentially expand to help for all autistic children and adults, to the differently abled of all sorts if they too catch hold of the vision, to all the caregivers of this community and finally to a big picture question.

If this is a new kind of ‘scourge’, since it’s not exactly an epidemic or a pandemic, how can it be stopped? Can genetic research help?Gene mapping may give us the clue as to how children i nthe future can be born without autsim. So encouraging research for that would be important. I believe it can. So can scanning. Prevention is better than cure. Medicines can help too - so research on finding a medical cure, plus palliatives and other drugs must be encouraged to continue in indigenous and allopathic fields. But what to do with and for those already autistic, for a lifetime? This is my big picture question.

Obviously, Hitler’s solution is not the answer.

For such children to grow up healthy, they need healthy food. They need herbal medicines too.

Producers and farms of this kind, producing this kind of food, exist in USA. They produce GFCF food.

Not in India, not many yet.

The worst case scenario: Think of a child born autistic in a poor Indian household living on 2 dollars a day, a worker's or a labourer's child, as we were asked to imagine in an exercise on Evoke. Let us say he, rarely she, is the only child. Autism affects males more than females and comes from the father, if genetic. Let me tell you the ratio of expenditure, ideally speaking. The man would need 1/4th, the woman 1/3rd and the autistic child the rest of the money if s/he is to get any help. 2 dollars is ninety two Indian rupees at present. If you gave the man 23 Rs, the woman 30 Rs and the child 39 Rs what help would the child get? The actual answer is Nothing, in today’s world.

The food and other products, services, side products and crafts, produced in such a farm, has to be green, eco-friendly, environmentally non-hazardous and healthy and the energy/power for such farms sustainable and renewable. Water must be harvested. Costs must be minimal to be effective, which is the main thing as always.

The food and any other products - aesthetic crafts, art shows - , such a commune would make or create is not only for them but everyone, since even if they need this healthy - maybe primarily vegetarian and herbal (ayurvedic)- food, any surplus can go for others, especially the poor. Not only that, the food can also be bought by everyone in society , where it can perhaps be sold at a higher price to some rich customers, as Namdhari’s does, to ensure breaking even or hopefully even make profit, since the first consumers should be the autistic children and their families and they should not be deprived of it due to cost.

My project could not work as a non-profit therefore, I think, unless it has extremely powerful financial backers. I need to take further thought on this aspect.

To start a school, a retreat centre and a farm or a place or space where autistic people can be helped in every way they need help, including enabling them to be mainstreamed as far as possible, is my dream. For this I would need first of all arable land with water, power or energy, modern communication systems and farmers, cooks, and many other kinds of helpers. The comunity would be primarily agrarian and self-sustaining, hopefully.

This would also lead to work opportunities for the local population as well as countless possibilities for networking aimed towards employability of different sorts with autism groups, autism specialists, scientists, educationalists, doctors, psychologists, artists, designers, environmentalists, ecologists, pharmacists, governments at local, state, national and international levels, collaborators, innovators, entrepreneurs, genuinely spiritual people etc…since what I really want to move towards is an AUTISM VILLAGE. I would build the village on the lines of Roger Dean's willow water project, Sabeer Bhatia's nanocity and Vinay Gupta's hexayurt project etc... as an semi- urban, semi-rural resilient one.

The village could also be a specialists and helpers holiday or retreat centre to generate further funds, limited to use only for empowering visitors and the families of the autistic peoples. The latter, especially, could come and unwind, relax etc. Over the years an old age home for the parents, if widowed, and a home for autistic children who are orphans or cannot be looked after by their parents in case of disability or such other unforeseen eventualities could come into existence. I envisage at least one geodesic building for a school, a vocational training centre and a mini-university, a medical research and a publications- c**-library area, with one section of it to deal with the food produce administration, another with farm administration, another with administration of the retreat centre, another with that of the school and the other organizations like the vocational training centre etc. Each section would be added in as the vision unfolds in actuality. The farm could also have horses and a swimming pool for aqua and equestrian therapy, a playground, a stable, a place for the horses to run around in, a massage and yoga or gym(health fitness centre), a toy-land for social integration, a big restaurant, a different kind of food retail outlet, a different kind of medical store and many other things. A hospital would be a must because these peoples need a different kind of medical help from others. I will expand on my architectural vision after taking more thought about it, later.

The money: A 1,000 US dollars? Without despising the day of small beginnings I would invest it with some agency that would multiply it for my project and then think of working on this self same proposal at a deeper level by approach rich philanthropic people, groups or organizations like the World Bank who can fund the entire project in a much more larger way.

I have an innovative idea which is based on “the power of one” and is about crowdfunding and microgifting which could raise a massive amount of money for this entire project if proper planning is done in advance and proper advertising and publicity exposure is managed. The fundraising idea is simple, to get everyone on earth to give just one currency note toward this project of ‘the power of one.’ An Indian would give a rupee, someone from the US a dollar etc. After conversion etc., even minusing costs for getting this fund raising drive to work I feel I would have enough money to buy some land, and start a small school and a farm. From then on, if I can harness the power of social networking and innovation, engineering and entrepreneurship correctly, much of which I learned here, I can bring in the rest of the funds too.

Fundraising projects like music shows would also be taken into account.

I do not think of this project as one that only takes. In return it gives us the happiness of these people in ensuring their welfare and also as it becomes self sufficient it will generate income in various ways throughout the future, ways including the farm and the products the autistic people will eventually make, so that the end will be, change for the world and a better future and some form of earthly salvation for autistic people to whatever extent it lies in my power to bring it about which are aims I hold in common with UEvoke.

My vision is long term and the village will have open doors so these children are not isolated and I am ready to wait for it to blossom and grow into a force to change the cartography of the future, however long it takes to be fully realized. As part of this, I would work into this long term projects issues of expansion - setting up centres elsewhere - and also issues of training future leaders who would carry on the legacy with the freedom to change it to suit change that will happen around us regarding research etc.

The budgetary and legal aspects, aspects of administration rgarding forming a trust etc., and groups and individuals I may collaborate with need to be worked out in more detail. As do details on how to overcome obstacles like bureacratic hurdles and red tapism which would be the biggest challenge in India where things work very slowly in governmental offices.

However at present I have decided to approach:

1. http://www.autism-india.org/worldorgs.html (I acknowledge Mrs. Michele Baron's help, for supplying me with this convenient list)

2. http://www.urgentevoke.com

3. http://evoke4ever.goupsite.com

4.http://www.communicationdeall.org/

5.http://srishti.ac.in/

6.http://www.autisminternationalfoundation.org/autism-funding-Intl.htm

7.thelandofisrael.com

My resource persons will include Meira Datiya and all at the facebook group EVOKE Class of 2010.

I want to be considered for

a) a trip to Washington DC. I have a chance of making it now since the summit is only in October.

If selected I will do everything possible in my means to make it to Washington to meet all from on here who will be there and in the hope of finding sponsors, among other things.

* I will shift my job come September.

P.S. My idea/dream/vision belongs to everyone. No copyright, intellectual property rights or patent required to replicate it.

Here is a photo of my son:http://www.urgentevoke.com/photo/reuel-friend-of-god#logApp

Thanks. May the Beloved bless you. Greetings from my wife and children. Love, peace and happiness to all at Uevoke.

Special thanks to Michele Baron for her encouragement and help regarding many things.

Views: 223

Comment by Rauni Lillemets on May 7, 2010 at 12:32pm
I want to award for this idea
+ Collaboration
+ Creativity
+Knowledge Share
+Resourcefulness
+Sustainability
+Courage
+Entrepreneurship
+Local Insight
+Spark
+Vision

I think You deserve that 1000$.

I think You have strength to do this.

I wish You will be invited to Washington.

All the best
Comment by A.V.Koshy on May 7, 2010 at 12:40pm
Thanks Rauni. You are the best.:)
Comment by A.V.Koshy on May 7, 2010 at 1:10pm
thanks.
Comment by A.V.Koshy on May 7, 2010 at 1:13pm
done. regarding the font i don't know how it looks on your monitor - looks fine on mine so i am hesitant to change it.
Comment by NANGAR SOOMRO on May 7, 2010 at 1:36pm
Dr. A. V Koshi, really good to find your foresight in practically taking forward the ideas......... My best wishes are always with you buddy. My best regards for your wife and son............. God bless you all.
Comment by A.V.Koshy on May 7, 2010 at 1:38pm
thanks pje and nangar
Comment by Iyamuremye Jean de Dieu on May 10, 2010 at 11:22pm
All the best. Good luck, man.
Comment by A.V.Koshy on May 12, 2010 at 10:41am
thanks iyamuremye
Comment by A.V.Koshy on May 12, 2010 at 10:42am
thanks mladen, thanks agnithrax
Comment by Jeremy Laird Hogg on May 14, 2010 at 1:40am
"Think of a child born autistic in a poor Indian household living on 2 dollars a day, a worker's or a labourer's child, as we were asked to imagine in an exercise on Evoke. Let us say he, rarely she, is the only child. Autism affects males more than females and comes from the father, if genetic. Let me tell you the ratio of expenditure, ideally speaking. The man would need 1/4th, the woman 1/3rd and the autistic child the rest of the money if s/he is to get any help. 2 dollars is ninety two Indian rupees at present. If you gave the man 23 Rs, the woman 30 Rs and the child 39 Rs what help would the child get? The actual answer is Nothing, in today’s world."

I found the reading both challenging and inspiring, AV. The above paragraph, however, was the bomb for me - from a convincing people of the problem's scale and the need for your proposal.

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