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Tata Power Launches Digital Neurodiversity Platform with NIEPID

Written by : Jayati Dubey

March 4, 2024

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This initiative aims to provide a comprehensive support ecosystem to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Tata Power Community Development Trust (TPCDT), the CSR arm of Tata Power, has joined forces with the National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (NIEPID) under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE).

The collaboration involves the launch and pilot testing of an innovative digital Neurodiversity Platform. This platform, developed under the Pay Autention initiative and implemented by Tata Elxsi, serves as an integrated hub for neurodiversity support in India.

The initiative aims to address the critical need for a comprehensive support ecosystem for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a condition affecting one in 100 children.

According to a 2021 report from the Rehabilitation Council of India, there is a significant gap in the support ecosystem, with only 1.2 Lakh special educators in India, resulting in a ratio of 1:167 special educators to children. The Pay Autention initiative seeks to bridge awareness and access gaps in families, institutions, regions, resources, technology, and expert networks.

Key Components of the Pay Autention Initiative

Digital Neurodiversity Platform: The digital platform, a vital component of the Pay Autention initiative, aims to interconnect and amplify the reach of special centers, professionals, and institutions. It targets parents, caregivers, public workers, volunteers, and individuals, envisioning the transformation of early diagnosis and care through community engagement.

Pilot Testing: The platform is set to launch by March 24 and will undergo pilot testing with 5000 users by August 24. The testing phase will be crucial in refining and enhancing the platform's functionality and effectiveness.

Public Use: The platform is expected to be open for public use following the successful completion of the pilot testing phase. The initiative aligns with the Government of India's focus on public-private partnerships and aims to facilitate early diagnosis, home care, and helpline support for individuals with neurodiversity.

Government Support & Optimistic Outlook

Talking about this initiative, Rajesh Aggarwal, secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, said, "As a part of GOI's thrust on public-private-partnerships, we are delighted to collaborate with the Tata Power Trust to introduce the pioneering India Neurodiversity Platform.”

This phygital initiative aims to facilitate early diagnosis, home care and helpline for the neurodiverse; leveraging digital technology and enabling outreach and accessibility across geographies.

“With Tata Group's values in volunteering and philanthropy, I'm optimistic that this endeavor will grow into a broader synergy for inclusivity – both in society and industry," Aggarwar added.

Since its launch in 2022 by Tata Group chairman N Chandrasekaran and Tata Power CEO & MD Dr Praveer Sinha, the Pay Autention initiative has achieved significant milestones.

Over 2000 public workers, 300 caregivers, and practitioners have received training, and 10,000 citizens and volunteers have been reached through street plays, videos, and workshops.

At Amrit Udhyan, the National Purple Fest held at Rashtrapati Bhawan on February 26, 2024, TPCDT engaged with 10,000 participants, raising awareness about neurodiversity. The festival featured diverse activities empowering individuals with disabilities, and Tata Power's Pay Autention stall offered activities such as sensory walls, music therapy, Lego play, and doodling art corners.

Workshops on planting and ceramic-making, collaborating with NASEOH, INDIA, drew large participation. The event also saw attendance from students and ANM partners from Pay Autention-supported grassroots regions including Ahmednagar, Tirunelveli, and Jamshedpur.

The collaboration between TPCDT and NIEPID, as part of the Pay Autention initiative, promises to address the challenges faced by individuals with neurodiversity. The digital Neurodiversity Platform is poised to play a crucial role in enhancing early diagnosis, care, and support.

In another development, Tata Medical & Diagnostics Ltd (Tata MD) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Health Mission (NHM), Assam, and Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG) to introduce Tata MD's Healthcare Model.

This collaborative effort aims to enhance public healthcare delivery in the Kamrup district by establishing a Digital Nerve Center.


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