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Indian couple in US sued for calling autistic son ‘public nuisance’

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photo credit: indianexpress.com

Washington: After alleging that their autistic son is a “public nuisance”, an Indian couple was arrested in California, according to a media report.

photo credit: www.autismepicenter.com
photo credit: www.autismepicenter.com

Vidyut Gopal and Parul Agrawal got slapped with a lawsuit filed by their two neighbours. They were ultimately forced to leave their home of seven years in Sunnyvale, one of the major cities that make up Silicon Valley, the San Jose Mercury News reported on Thursday.

Gopal who is an engineer at a Silicon Valley company said, “This has been pretty devastating for us, but we are doing our best to cope with it,”

The couple’s hired caregivers gave the boy special medication and put him in therapeutic classes after neighbours complained about the young boy pulling children’s hair, biting a woman and other menacing behaviour.

Last year, the couple was slapped with a lawsuit that alleges the boy’s disruptive behaviour created an “as-yet unquantified chilling effect on the otherwise ‘hot’ local real estate market” and that “people feel constrained in the marketability of their homes as this issue remains unresolved and the nuisance remains unabated”.

To the Indian-origin parents’ dismay, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge last October issued a preliminary injunction against them to ensure their son does not strike, assault, or batter anyone in the neighbourhood or their personal property.

Next week, a judge will hear arguments about whether the plaintiffs should have access to the boy’s school and medical records.

Agrawal, a research scientist at NASA Ames Research Centre, said they remain focused on helping their son. But they hope this case “will raise awareness about autism and educate the public” about the challenges that families of children with autism face.

Parents of children with autism fear that such lawsuits could be slapped against them as well.

“What scared us in the Bay Area is that there are thousands of kids just like this one,” Jill Escher, president of the board of the Autism Society of the San Francisco Bay Area, was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Gopal and Agrawal have decided not to return to their former home, which they have now rented to another family.

(with inputs from IANS)

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Google To Provide 4K Chromebooks, 1 Lakh Wi-fi Hotspots For Rural Students in California

The search engine giant has announced to provide over $800 million to support small and medium businesses (SMBs), health organisations, governments and health workers on the frontline of global COVID-19 pandemic

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Google
The search engine giant has announced to provide over $800 million to support small and medium businesses (SMBs), health organisations, governments and health workers on the frontline of global COVID-19 pandemic. Pixabay

Google has announced to provide 4,000 Chromebooks and 1,00,000 Wi-Fi hotspots for rural students in California, who are studying from home due to coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative was announced by California Governor Gavin Newsom and Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday. “We are providing 4,000 Chromebooks to California students in greatest need & free wifi to 1,00,000 rural households during the #COVID19 crisis to make distance learning more accessible,” Pichai tweeted.

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Governor Newsom said the state’s Department of Education will distribute the Chromebooks and WiFi hotspots, prioritising rural communities.

However, the governor estimated that California needs an additional 1,62,013 hotspots on top of the 1,00,000 hotspots and to meet the need the governor has asked other companies to donate.

Google
The initiative was announced by California Governor Gavin Newsom and Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Wikimedia Commons

The search engine giant has announced to provide over $800 million to support small and medium businesses (SMBs), health organisations, governments and health workers on the frontline of global COVID-19 pandemic.

ALSO READ: HP, Lenovo Witness Massive Surge in Bulk Buying of Laptops in India Amidst “Work From Home” During Lockdown

The commitment would include $250 million in ad grants to help the World Health Organisation (WHO) and more than 100 government agencies globally provide critical information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other measures to help local communities. (IANS)