April 2nd kicked off the Autism Awareness Month in Dubai, uniting communities, educating and raising awareness about the special needs condition. Autism Rocks founder and philanthropist, Sanjay Shah lined up American rappers Flo Rida and Tyga to entertain the crowd. Besides the live entertainment, the family fun initiative also features laser tag, zip lines, horse rides, and a host of other events. “Based on the turnout it’s clear we continue to engage families and educate those who are still relatively unfamiliar about Autism,” said Sanjay Shah Denmark. In support of the month long Autism Awareness, organizers ensure initiatives to educate and encourage more research and donations are realized.
One of the difficulties faced by parents of children with disorders of this type lies in the diagnosis and the establishment of an effective management. Autism is a neurological development disorder that affects brain function, the immune and biological system, alters the expressions of recognition abilities, social and emotional conduct, and generates emotional hypersensitivity and behavioral disorders. The medical world is still too divided and stakeholders struggle to agree on the exact cause. Thanks to early detection, many autistic children can likely integrate into society, but it is urgent to diagnose and intervene.
A Road to Charity
Founded in 2011, British-born philanthropist and multi-millionaire, Sanjay Shah established the charity Autism Rocks. His own son, born Autistic, became the premise for Shah’s understanding of the disorder and became his highest focus. His work to fund research and build awareness has been captivatingly generous and he’s developed a sense of personal responsibility concerning autism awareness.
Shah attended Kings College, initially wanting to become a doctor, soon realizing his path was better suited in numbers. He switched to studying accounting and became a trader. Throughout his business career, Shah has worked at top investment companies like Morgan Stanley, ING, and Credit Suisse. Still unsatisfied, Shah decided to begin his own company and formed Solo Capital. Five years and a $280 million net worth left Shah focusing on more philanthropic requirements. Initially, his partnerships with various Dubai entities like ‘Done Events’ organized events to raise money for research but with a burgeoning list of business contacts, Shah figured he could do more. In 2011 Autism Rocks headlined Prince at their first opening concert.
Every year since its founding, Autism Rocks has continued to match or exceed their extraordinary performances and Sanjay Shah is the man behind the incredible handiwork.