Hardy-Ramanujan Number

The man who knew infinity


These individuals have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and have achieved national and international status in their chosen fields. Click on the image to see a video clip or follow the link to read about their achievements. They have unbelievable skills, unique talents and will add a special innovation to businesses that hire them.

Ramanujan (centre) and his colleague G. H. Hardy (rightmost), with other scientists, outside the Senate House, Cambridge

Srinivasa Ramanujan

The man who wrote volumes of mathematics with almost no formal education had difficulty concentrating on any other subject he had to study when he was in London working with one of the greatest mathematicians of that time, G. H. Hardy. Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3,900 results (mostly identities and equations) making substantial contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions, including solutions to mathematical problems then considered unsolvable.

Many were completely novel; his original and highly unconventional results, such as the Ramanujan prime, the Ramanujan theta function, partition formulae, Ramanujan's congruences and mock theta functions, have opened entire new areas of work and inspired a vast amount of further research. Of his thousands of results, all but a dozen or two have now been proven correct.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

It is believed that Srinivasa Ramanujan FRS (22 December 1887 – 26 April 1920) had ASD as he strongly preferred social isolation, had a single minded focus to pure mathematics in his own ways (leading to a lot of conflict with Prof. Hardy during his stay. There has been a lot of interest in ascertaining the exact nature of the disorder - Asperger's Disorder or Asperger's Syndrome - from his behavioral pattern. However, there have been counter voices too as Simon Mcburney insists - "Ramanujan was quite simply an exceptional human—sharp, funny and absorbed in the parallel universe that was mathematics—but he wasn’t an autistic genius"


Naturally, such a spectacular mathematician - The man who knew infinity - has been recognized and remembered through various means:


Achievers in India

Step Into My World

Amrit is a young artist on the autism spectrum. She established an incredible connection with colours, patterns and rhythms at an early age.

With little to say in person, Amrit speaks through her paintings with unbridled clarity. The inspiration as always are the common people, the day to day affairs of men and women who we pass by, never sparing a thought or a glimpse. These unsung characters are transformed into strong, vibrant personas on her canvas.

Her sense of composition along with the use of a distinct colour palette touches the soul and transcends the art aficionados into a world of sublime fantasy.

Come, step into her world and see it with her eyes. You will see the difference.

Amrit Khurana: Painter

It’s called simply, To Amrit With Love. The patterns and designs in the four sarees and blouses in this new range by sustainable saree brand Suta, capture the beauty and ordinary wonders of the world through the gaze of 27-year-old Amrit Khurana, a young artist with autism from India.

The collection, released in April to mark Autism Awareness Month, is the first time that Suta founders Sujata and Taniya Biswas, have collaborated with an artist with a disability.

The collaboration, says Amrit’s mother Aarti Khurana, happened quite by accident. “We were browsing on Instagram over a year ago and came across the brand Suta and found the name unusual (Suta means thread connecting the syllabus from the names of the founders - Su-Sujata and Ta-Taniya)”, says Aarti, who is a schoolteacher. “I got hooked to their posts and started showing them to Amrit”.

Many studies have established the strong links between autism and artistic ability. Children with autism have creative and cognitive abilities that far exceed their peers who are not on the spectrum. They are also better able to process details that other children.

In Amrit’s case too, this was evident from an early age. Formally diagnosed when she was 19 years old, this artist with autism has no formal training but she takes a keen interest in the day-to-day details and this show in her absorbing art that captures vividly the minute details. Amrit showed an interest in art when she was just three years old but the parallels between autism and artistic ability were initially overlooked as her parents were grappling with behavioural issues.

“We never paid any attention as we were struggling with her issues and the fact that she was non-verbal”, says Aarti. “She was eight years old when her artistic skills were recognised by her teacher at the Selaqui World School in Dehradun in north India and we realised that our daughter was speaking to us through her art”.

As her parents started paying closer attention, they were captivated and moved by the deeper connections and meanings Amrit was making. “Amrit had non-verbal autism but through her art would express even small outings and trips that we would make as a family across India. It could be the view of the mountains through a room in her window. Once we were travelling and stopped to take a break. There she saw some stray animals and drew them in her own unique way. Art masters later called it a unique piece”, says a proud Aarti.

Amrit’s journey as a person on the spectrum, the links between her autism and artistic ability have also been has been made into a documentary titled The reason I Jump. This was released at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year where it won the Audience Award.

Source: Amrit Khurana, young artist with autism from India, finds a new canvas in sarees, 2021

Aryan Debnath: App Designer

A 12-year-old schoolkid from Gurgaon has designed a smartphone app that helps autistic and different particular wants kids to assist them talk and perceive fundamental ideas corresponding to their day by day schedules. The little tech whiz, Aryan Debnath, is himself on the autistic spectrum, which has affected his capability to talk.

Regardless of his dysfunction, Aryan was at all times into science and expertise, says his mom Anamika. “Aryan was very inquisitive from a really early age. However in India, individuals aren’t very sensitized about autism so regardless of his urge to discover science and expertise, there was at all times a little bit of battle with us for his educating. However he continued,” she tells us.

Ultimately, Aryan’s mom enrolled him in a web-based coding program by way of WhiteHat Jr. This allowed him to study the fundamentals of coding and likewise brush up on his analytical expertise. Placing the talents he learnt on-line to make use of, Aryan created an app known as Companion for autistic and different particular wants kids to assist them talk. Aryan’s dad and mom have been approached by US-based professor Dr. Stephen Shore, the Dean of New York’s, who desires the app to be uploaded to the App retailer and assist kids within the US.

Jiya Rai: Swimmer

Autism affected Jiya Rai holds the world record for the most special woman to swim in the open water at a speed of 14 km/hour

She set a record by swimming in the Palk Strait between Rameswaram and Thalaimannar. At 5.25 pm, she reached the Arichalmunai beach in Rameswaram where she was welcomed by Tamil Nadu DGP C Sylendra Babu. He then presented her with a souvenir. In 2017, the DGP himself had swum in the Palk Strait.

Source: Autism-affected girl creates history, swims from Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi in 13 hours, 2022

Pranav Sridhar, Prem Shankar, and Saravana Raj: Web Developer

Students With Autism Designed A COVID Information Website For Visually Challenged

It is hard to believe, but true. Three Chennai students with autism Prem Shankar, Pranav Sridhar and Saravana Raj have designed India's first accessible website for COVID-19 data to help the visually challenged community access crucial COVID information. On their site https://hashhackcode.com/covid-19/ they simplify complex government data from state governments and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) often in the form of graphics, charts or pictures into accessible HTML form so that screen readers used by the visually impaired can read it. Normally, screen readers do not read data or information in such forms and visually challenge cannot access that.

21-year-old Pranav Sridhar an autistic student doing his visual communication has now turned into an accessible web developer. He loves the cause and works independently on his laptop. He says: "We live in an era where everything is online and digital. I want to help visually impaired people and neurodiverse individuals so that they can understand the real world as well as the digital world".

It was the brainchild of a techie social entrepreneur Manu Sekar who taught them web designing and coding at his academy initially and later remotely since the pandemic hit.

This is perhaps the first time a neurodiverse group has successfully developed a solution for another differently abled group. Explaining the need to skill neurodiverse groups including the autistic, Manu the Founder and CEO of HashHackCode says: "These people are shunned for most opportunities. They are always pushed towards low skilled jobs. This proves them all wrong that they are capable individuals and they solve real-world problems".

At Chennai's Valmiki Nagar, 25-year-old Prem Shankar, another autistic student updates Covid data on his laptop assisted by his mother Mangai Alwarappan. He meticulously copies from government websites. He has also designed celebration websites for weddings and has earned ₹ 7,000, so far. His mother had quit her job and learnt coding along with Prem so that she could guide him. She says

"Prem's sitting tolerance has improved. Earlier he couldn't sit beyond 10-20 minutes. Now he is able to work on his computer for an hour. He does not make any mistakes. His entry is so perfect. We are happy". His new IT (Information Technology) skills with the potential to earn have come as an inspiration to the family. His father Alwarappan added "Earlier we were worried. Now there is a little bit of ray of hope is there. He is earning now."

The experiment seen largely successful has roped in mothers as teammates, so over a period, each mother would be able to take wings and lead a group of individuals with autism besides helping her child scale new heights.

Deepa Satish, the mother of Saravana Raj the third member of the team had shifted base from Tuticorin to Chennai to help her son get skilled. She is quite happy. She says "We have done it and we have proved that these children also can do websites and learn more and more of HTML and CSS coding."

The mothers are now raising awareness among IT companies, media digital platforms and corporates to earmark openings for skilled autistic persons. Roopa Sridhar, Pranav's mother says, "That is definitely the way looking forward for them. We are looking at a lot of options in the IT field".

The visually challenged welcome the accessible website the trio has developed.

In another part of Chennai, Selvamani a visually challenged IAS aspirant finds the site useful to update himself on COVID data every day at Nethrodaya, a centre for the visually challenged. He said, "It's like a one-stop-shop for COVID data. I am able to access information which I could not earlier".

C Govindakrishnan, Founder of Nethrodaya added "We are absolutely self-reliant, this website has given lots of impetus, edified our confidence to a different level.”

Source: Students With Autism In Chennai Built A Special COVID Website To Help Visually Challenged Stay Informed, 2021

“Autism is my superpower”

Pranav Bakshi: Model

Pranav Bakshi embraced autism as his superpower at an early age, and found his calling in modelling. The 19-year-old model who has proved autism cannot hold him back. Pranav Bakshi embraced autism as his superpower at an early age, and found his calling in modelling. He made headlines by becoming India’s first model with autism. Pranav has walked the ramp for a few well-known fashion labels.

Source: Autism is my superpower: Pranav Bakshi, India's first model with autism, 2019

Siddharth with his parents, Jayasree and Muralee Thummarukudy

Siddharth Muralee: Painter

Siddharth Muralee — who suffers from Asperger Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder — was always in awe of colours, shapes and numbers. And that led him to explore painting. “But there were times when he would not accept the different shades of a single colour,” recalls his mother Dr Jayasree.

She would then painstakingly explain to him the nuances of colour. That had an impact, and Siddharth has gone on to create varied art and hold a slew of exhibitions, including in Kochi, New Delhi, the UK and Canada. His joy knew no bounds when he became a part of the Kochi Biennale, at which he held a group exhibition with other painters. Siddharth, who baffles even his parents with his memory, designed a calendar in 2017 which carried his paintings drawn in different mediums.

All those experiences helped him gain confidence and pursue his studies with vigour. Having suffered the pain of various state government schools denying him an opportunity to study in normal schools, the 21-year-old has completed his BCom course with flying colours.

Dr Jayasree recounts it was not easy for her son to come to the forefront. Fortune smiled in the form of Choice School, Tripunithura, which took Siddharth on board along with an in-class assistant who helped him in his studies while at school, she says. But socializing remains an issue.

“Except for a Sri Lankan student, all these years, none of Siddharth’s friends have ever bothered to invite him for a birthday party or a casual visit to their homes,” she says, wishing people changed their attitudes to autistic children. “Siddharth helps me with household chores, and I have always taken that extra effort to ensure he has a normal life like any other child,” his mother says.

His father, Muralee Thummarukudy, the director of the Coordination Office of the G20 Global Initiative on environmental protection, believes Siddharth has come a long. But the Covid pandemic prevented the youngster from attending his second and third year BCom classes at the Sacred Heart College, Thevara. But that did not deter him from scoring several A grades. He now is keen on joining a chartered accountancy course.

Source: This autistic Kerala youth is in awe of colours and shapes

Tito Mukhopadhyay: Writer & Poet