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SAP Labs 'Roadie star' Manas Prasad shows Asperger syndrome is no barrier to success & happiness

Asperger syndrome can cause behavioural and social difficulties but that need not come in the way of leading a fulfilling life proves Manas Prasad. A software tester, Manas loves music and leads an independent life.

Excellence in academics has been a hallmark in Manas Prasad's life. Be it academics or interests like music, Manas tries to do his best at everything and that has defined his attitude.

An all India first in economics, he was gold medallist in the his class 12 exams, securing 82% marks overall in the NIOS category. After doing his graduation in commerce, Manas did a post graduate diploma in computer software from NIIT Technologies in Bengaluru and later an MBA through correspondence. Currently he works with SAP Labs India as part of the Autism at Work programme as a software tester.

Launched in 2013, the Autism at Work programme aims to provide equal job opportunities to people on the spectrum. The programme has been successful across many countries. People with autism are also given opportunities to grow according to their skillsets.

Manas is also into music, singing, and cooking always takes the time to work out and go long distance walking.

"I love walking and nature and I like Bengaluru", he says. "I walk around 10-12 km every day and around 20-25 km on weekends. The city is really cool, I like the climate and the burst of people everywhere. I try and move around the city on my own and it feels good to be independent."

Manas loves junk food so he makes it a point to stay in shape by walking. Work he says is not just a means to financial freedom but also gives him the opportunity to make friends. His mother says Manas' disorder brings with it certain challenges but he copes with it admirably.

Manas has Asperger syndrome, that clouds lucid thought as well as comprehension and communication. This sometimes results in avoidable misunderstandings especially in a diversified working environment, which is the case today. On his own, if he has to communicate, only through text, Manas manages very well. He is a SAP "Roadie" star and has tremendous grit and stamina to do tasks, once he gets a grip on the situation. - Meera Prasad, Manas' mom

His love for food translates into great culinary skills too. He can cook some mouth watering vegetarian meals and that too at short notice, says Meera. A good singer, Manas is adept at Carnatic and Hindi music.

Apart from work, music and exercising, Manas also volunteers in his spare time. He helped organise the Inclusive Walkathon organised recently by India Inclusion Foundation and impressed everyone with his energy and spark.

"Working along with Manas made the Walkathon experience even more memorable", says Karthikeyan Balasubramanian, SAP Labs Coworker and member India Inclusion Foundation. "He is an extremely dynamic and positive person who loves to be around people and help others. He became my source of energy and motivated me to work with even more vigor. He is an awesome chap and there is no stopping him".

Manas wants to continue learning Carnatic music, practice singing, go on treks and be part of the various activities happening around him. He is a multi-talented person who has worked hard to build a life for himself and is on an ongoing path of self-awareness and growth.

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