About Us

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Why Muktodana?

We all know that autism is a condition that appears usually in early childhood with the three basic features of communication problems, problems with socializing and repetitive activities. Although it appears in childhood autism persists throughout life .


The needs of the autistic adult may be very different from that of the autistic child . However most schools for autistic children in Bangladesh do not offer services for autistic adults . Also a permanent solution for autistic adults , one that will exist even in the absence of their parents has not yet been addressed by most schools and centres working with these adults . With this urgent need in mind Muktadana was set up in 2019.

The Story of Muktodana

The first premises  of Muktodana was in Nakhalpara in Dhaka . Services commenced in June 2019 under the leadership of Farhana Rahman with the help of founding members including Erphan Matin whose family owned the building . The service began as and still is a non profit, non governmental and non political organization.

The set up at Muktodana is unlike any other institute . There are not only activity rooms for academic work , but also a therapy and gym room . In addition to that there is a large dining space where all the members can have snacks and meals together . There is a recreation room for the members to relax , listen to music , watch television and play games such as karrom or darts. Most importantly individual bedrooms provide ample opportunity to not only rest in break time but also forms the backdrop for teaching and practicing daily life skills such as dressing, brushing teeth independently, changing bedsheets and practicing independent toilet skills in those who require support . A roof top garden at Nakhalpara provided a calm area where the members could swing, play on monkey bars , practice ball skills and tend to the garden .

Muktodana had achieved a tremendous

accomplishment when the entire Muktodana family including the members , their parents and siblings and teachers went by US Bangla Airlines and spent a wonderful three day expedition in Cox’s Bazar in December 2019. This endeavor of Muktodana received a very positive press coverage at the time.


In January 2021 due to the Covid pandemic Muktodana took up a new site in Arunapolli Savaar.

Throughout 2021 , in fact from the time of the first lockdown in March 2020 , all academic , music , therapy and art classes were held online . Only when the Covid situation improved the members of Muktodana met once a week for offline academic and therapy sessions and enjoying time in each other’s company with music and dance and a walk to the nearby lake in Arunapolli.


In January 2022 Muktodana shifted it’s site to 4/8 Iqbal Road in Mohammedpur in the centre of Dhaka. Services are still being set up and plans are underway for vocational activities and training . It is hoped that Muktodana will remain at Mohammedpur until the completion of the permanent residential and activities center at Rupganj. In the meantime it is also hoped that with a view to expand Muktodana interested young adults with autism will come forward to join the Muktodana Day Centre from 10am to 6 pm daily except Fridays and Saturdays or even for a shorter period of 10 am to 1 pm .


Muktodana symbolizes the culmination of the dream of a group of motivated parents for a beautiful secure future for their adult autistic sons and daughters.


Assuming there will be six/ eight families interested in the project . There can be six/ eight independent bungalows either side by side or in two rows of three/ four bungalows . Each bungalow will have a room for our children another room for parents or family members with washroom, a kitchen/dining space,a living room and maid’s room and toilet . The layout may differ according to each child’s needs eg Aadil would require a space for his painting , books, music and computer. Another child may have other preferences which should be taken into consideration. Our main Target is for each child to feel comfortable and at home in this environment .

There must be an activity centre preferably as a separate block where teachers will engage the children in different activities according to the child’s

interests and abilities . This may be activities for daily life skills, art and craft, needlwork( sewing together or individually), vocational, gardening, academic etc . Music and therapy are must haves for all on the spectrum so provision for this must be included . In the activity centre we can have a sensory room for therapy as well as an indoor gym with equipment for a variety of physical activities eg treadmill, bike , table tennis etc .


If possible in the building of the activity centre we can add a larger space which can be used as an auditorium for gatherings for special occasions eg birthdays or music programmes to mark Pohela Boishakh, Shahid Dibosh etc as well as meetings , teacher & staff training . We can even have guest speakers to visit for training purposes . Our children’s artwork can displayed in this hall – even if a child can scribble or colour a circle that is extremely important and should be displayed.


Most of all we want to create a loving, supportive and understanding environment for all our children . To this end we need to be sure that all teachers, care givers , security staff, gardeners,cooks, cleaners  are trustworthy, accepting and loving towards our children. Generally speaking, throughout the world, abuse is a problem that exists in a residential setting so we must do all in our power to protect our children. The walls of the premises must be very secure and round the clock CCTV installed.


Regular meals could be provided in a common cafeteria bearing in mind the various dietary restrictions/requirements of our children. I saw this in practice at the Option Institute. If any child requests a meal outside the cafeteria menu that can be arranged in the child’s individual bungalow. Once a month the cafeteria can provide an” improved diet” much like the system we had in Nakhalpara.


Accommodation for teachers who cannot come from a long distance as well as caregivers and on call staff must be provided.


Outdoor activities eg basketball badminton cycling and tennis must be provided . Other activities such as gardening, looking after chicken or ducks would be nice to have. If space permits we could have our own Shahid Minar constructed in the garden .


A communal laundry with washing machines and ironing facilities may facilitate our children’s involvement and improve their sense of responsibility and self esteem.


A microbus for our children to take them on day trips or to the shops etc is also a priority. The driver and caregivers must be familiar with places our children like to visit to provide continuation of outings that give them pleasure.


Access to a medical facility must be available. Prior arrangements must be made with a nearby hospital so our children are treated on a priority basis and handled with care and respect.


Monthly contribution / operational costs / time frame of construction/ phased introduction for our children to the new environment as well as management issues are topics we can discuss as a group . Obviously there are many questions that cannot be answered immediately but in time we will have a clearer idea inshallah. Our strength is our unity in being motivated to provide a safe and happy permanent solution for our children. Take care, keep safe and God bless you all .


Thank you

Dr Leedy Hoque