Every year, organisations from across the globe celebrate Autistic Pride Day on June18. The aim of this day is to raise awareness about autistic people not as individuals who require our pity or sympathy, but instead as unique people with personalities of their own.
Happily and coincidentally, an apt children’s book to send home this message landed on Funky Rainbow’s bookshelf just some days ago. (It is true: if you wish for things dearly enough in the world of children’s books, they do actually come true!)
‘Vibhuti Cat’ (written by Shikhandin, illustrated by Shubham Lakhera, published byDuckbill) is perhaps one of India’s first children’s books to feature a protagonist on the autism spectrum. But what makes it even more of a first in our book is the fact that it doesn’t make a hoo-ha about it! It simply and poignantly tells the story of Magesh, who is different from other children. He doesn’t have a way with words, but his actions tell us he is an intelligent and curious young boy. There are two things Magesh loves the most – playing with his brother Vignesh and with his beloved Vibhuti Cat.
The story takes us through what it is to be Magesh. It shows us what makes him happy, the things that he is afraid of, how loving his Amma, Appa, Paati and Anna are, how they cope with difficult situations, and above all, how there can be no buddy like a brother! Right through all of this is the coolest cat of them all, Vibhuti Cat, who is Magesh’s anchor through everything.
Read this enriching storybook today to free your mind; read it to know that autism is a difference and not a disability!