Moved by the plight of his autistic daughter, a businessman in Gaziabad starts a food processing company where all employees are autistic

Understanding the concerns that parents of autistic children have for their future, father of a 14-year daughter, who was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), has set up a food processing company where all employees are autistic. Spend a few minutes to laud this initiative…

 

Initial days were tough for the family
“My daughter, Prakriti, was born in 2007. Two years later she was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). It was quite a difficult time for our family. More because getting the right information related to autism and its effects was not easy. With time my understanding of autism grew to the level of what a parent needs to understand,” Ghaziabad based Parag Ghosh (46) told chalgenius.com.
“We met with lot of other parents with autistic children. It was during this time that my practical understanding of autism related issues developed. I noticed that most concerns were centred among parents having children aged around 2-14 years regarding the future of their wards once they became adults.”

Life with autism
According to Ghosh, 1% of the world population is affected with autism while the unemployment rate among adults with autism is 84%. “Autism is a spectrum condition and affects people differently. Is a lifelong condition and the causes are not clear. Living with a person with autism affects the entire family as meeting his/her complex needs can put them under a great deal of stress. However, there is very little understanding about autism in society. People view autism as a source of disappointment, annoyance or worse,” said Ghosh.
The beginning
In 2016, Ghosh started his first initiative to start a community kitchen where autistic adults can be employed but it did not take off as expected and was closed down in 2017. Three years later, in collaboration with the National Center for Autism, Ghosh started a pilot project to evaluate the abilities of autistic persons to engage in professional work in the food processing industry. “We selected a small group of 12 autistic people aged upto 45 years and were engaged in cleaning, sorting, packaging and labeling of herbs and spices. Within a fortnight, we were able to produce 200 units of finished goods per day,” recalled Ghosh.

Since then there was no looking back
Early this year, Ghosh incorporated Auspice Social that produces 7 varieties of naturally dried culinary herbs, 13 varieties of seasonings, 15 varieties of spices (whole, powdered and spices). “All products are cleaned, sorted, packaged and labelled by persons with autism. We have 18 employees, who were provided 3 weeks to 6 months training. By purchasing one of these products, you are providing an opportunity for gainful employment to someone with autism and strengthen their ability to contribute to the society,” Ghosh explained. Merry Barua, Founder Director Action For Autism, National Centre for Autism, is the co-founder.
Auspice Social aims to create 10,000 jobs for persons with autism by 2030.
Get in touch
Parag Ghosh
9310549965
parag@auspice.org
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