Thursday, June 02, 2022
KARACHI: In a bid to create awareness about the needs of persons with disabilities and to provide them with equal opportunities, a panel discussion was recently held in the metropolis.
Organised by the NOWPDP (Network of Organisations Working For People With Disabilities Pakistan), the panel, titled “Leaving No One Behind: Working Together to Accelerate Action on Accessibility”, included persons with disabilities, corporate organisations, and media personnel.
Special Assistant to the Chief Minister of Sindh on Disability Affairs Sadiq Memon, District Commissioner Malir Irfan Salam Mirwani, Director DALDA Foods and Westbury Group of Industries Farhat Rasheed, and Trainer and Specialist of Visual Studies at NOWPDP Adnan Ahmad were in attendance.
During the panel, President NOWPDP Amin Hashwani said that accessibility is a basic right for all persons with disabilities and the organisation has been working for 14 years to bring about pragmatic changes in this regard.
He added that the NOWPDP has worked for persons with disabilities be it through the sensitisation and infrastructural guidance to organisations or the provision of assistive devices to persons with disabilities.
"We hope that more awareness comes out of such important panels.”
Meanwhile, Memon said that the centres of excellence that focus on economic empowerment and accessibility like NOWPDP’s Moriro Markaz are to be created in more districts soon.
“NOWPDP’s model of the Moriro Markaz serves as an epitome of quality that should be used as a standard for special education all over Sindh," he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Rasheed also shared her lived experiences and said there was a need to install proper measures for accessibility and they should be implemented for all kinds of disabilities.
"There should actually be penalties for all public spaces and buildings that do not have accessible measures for functioning and movement," he said.
For his part, DC Salam stressed working on public-private partnerships in a bid to make sure accessibility becomes a basic facet of functioning.
“We really need to work on more public-private partnerships to ensure accessibility becomes a basic facet of functioning for everybody," the district commissioner added.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 15% of any country’s population comprises persons with disabilities, making Pakistan’s around 31 million, a statement from the NOWPDP said.
"For them, accessibility is imperative to experience the full range of human rights, and increase their participation across social, economic and political life," the statement added.