In a one-of-its-kind initiative, a private firm, in association with the state government, is set to build a world-class autism township near Kolkata, where children and adults suffering from the developmental disorder can receive training, treatment and boarding facilities.
The India Autism Center (IAC) - a non-profit organization under Section 8 of Companies Act, 2013 - is expected to come up over a 52-acre plot at Sirakol in South 24 Parganas in the next five years.
A joint effort by Ratnabali Group and the state - the estimated cost for building the township has been pegged at Rs 500 crore, a company official said.
The soft launch of the project has been scheduled for January, next year, the official said.
Suresh Somani, the joint managing director of Ratnabali Investment Pvt Ltd, said the project, announced during the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) earlier this year, will also have provisions for training teachers, who would be dealing with those suffering from the disorder.
West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, during the BGBS meet in January, had highly appreciated the initiative and promised all support to it, he said.
"It will be the first centre of its kind, not just in India, but globally, with housing facilities for 350 residents and daycare centre for over 200 children, adolescents and adults. The construction work for the township will begin next year," Somani said.
IAC will also have an administrative wing and a guest house, where parents of those receiving training at the institute can put up for a few days, he said.
"There will be international tie-ups and the institute will be absolutely different from any of the centres that we have now. The township, which is expected to come up by 2023, will ensure holistic development of those suffering from autism," he added.
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