A set of Peppa Pig books worth Rs 157 to a tablet worth Rs 14,599. These are some of the wishes and needs of individuals with autism.
An organisation working with them has put them up on a virtual wish tree and invited donors.
A single parent whose 13-year-old son is in the same institute has fulfilled the wish of a set of books and a set of acrylic paints. Autism Society West Bengal in collaboration with a foundation has put up the wish tree as part of the Joy of Giving week (October 2 to 8).
The virtual wish tree, however, will be up till the end of this week.
The needs are both small and big and can be fulfilled even by individuals with little means or young people who want to spare a portion of their pocket money.
“The wishes are targeted and it helps donors to connect and engage... There are people who want to know what they are giving the money for,” said Indrani Basu, founder, Autism Society West Bengal.
“When we buy and it is being used by the students we click and send pictures to the donors,” said Basu.
Before the pandemic, the organisation used to put up these trees in schools and malls. The pages of the virtual tree have small needs like a spatula set for a bakery unit, stacking cones or an almirah. Each of the products is listed with the price that is required to purchase the item.
“Last year, there were college students who had come forward to fulfil some wishes. Not all the wishes need a lot of money. We have kept it in a range where even those who are not working can contribute,” said Mitu De, secretary of the society. For Sharmistha Ghosh, the joy of giving something every year matters.
“If I spend about Rs 1,000, I am not spending a lot but I know how much it will be cherished by the students. For me, it is from a sense of affection and bonding,” she said.
De said in most cases, the contributions come from people who have interacted with their students. The society has a social club where every month individuals without autism interact with those with autism.
“There have been college students who have contributed because they feel they are doing it for their friends,” said De.