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How a diagnosis of autism led Madhura and son Rudra to unearth their hidden talents

Just 10 years old, Rudra Tendulkar already has the makings of an eco-warrior. Rudra makes products from recycled paper and how he started on this journey makes for a fascinating story.

From tote bags to wall hangings, Rudra Tendulkar crafts some amazing things with his hands. Bright, colourful and quirky his creations are captivating new buyers on the Facebook page The Ark- A Radical Klub. Even better, this 10-year-old crafts his range of products from recycled paper.

So, how did a child as young as this become such an eco-warrior? The story is a fascinating one.

Rudra was three years old when mom Madhura noticed some changes that concerned her. From a friendly and social child, Rudra started withdrawing and became quiet. Madhura took him to some experts who said Rudra was on the autism spectrum.

That led Madhura to start looking into the disorder closely. At the same time, she used her skills as a professional artist to look at ways to encourage and motivate her son's skills.

I noticed that he was a good visual learner, with the ability to remember signs and directions without fail. He also uses colours amazingly well, blending them perfectly. That is when I thought why not make something out of his skills and The Ark Radical Klub came about. Products made by Rudra are doing well on that page.-Madhura Tendulkar, Rudra's mother

The page is a combined mother-son business venture. Madhura also makes weighted jackets and blankets for children on the autism spectrum and these are sold as well. The jackets gives a strong feeling of comfort and security to children with certain disabilities and both mom and son are happy with the satisfied reactions from customers.

Madhura hopes that one day Rudra will be able to have his own independent business. "Madhura's and Rudra's journey is inspiring, says Kinnari Shah, a special educator. She is full of admiration for Madhura as she is not just empowering her son but also looking at the larger needs of children with autism. "Madhura's jackets are very effective for children with autism. I have seen children using it and showing positive signs. It helps a child with ADHD or autism to calm down.

On her part, Madhura does not believe she is doing anything extraordinary. "All parents go overboard for their children. When you have a child with a disability, there are days you give 100% while there are some days you just cannot. I would just tell all parents to look at their child's strengths and work on them.

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