AWAM demands statutory cover for disability community

KARACHI: The government must introduce comprehensive disability legislation for establishing, improving and strengthening support mechanisms ensuring accessible environment for persons with disabilities.

This was demanded by the participants during a consultation meeting entitled “Statutory Cover for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” held under the auspices of the Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM) in collaboration with Council for Social Development (CSD), Social Development Organization (SDO), CBID Network, Noble Concern for Human Development (NCHD) and EMAAN.

Speaking on the occasion, Azhar Abbas said, “The public institutions are assisting and facilitating disability community, but majority of the persons with disabilities are unaware about the procedures and ways of getting benefits from government. Therefore, the government should make easy access of persons with disabilities to the services and trainings for their empowerment.”

A human rights activist, Naseem Anthony, condemned the act of national assembly’s standing committee for law and justice for rejecting the proposed bill for the allocation of reserved seats for persons with disabilities. Subsequent to the ordinance of 1981, new laws have not been created, and person with disability are deprived of their due rights for 32 years.” “The government must seriously review the much needed disability bill, recently submitted in the national assembly, and approve it after making it harmonious with international commitments,” he demanded.

An educationist, Shabbeer Gohar said, “A visually impaired person should be exempt from the queue in all offices like NADRA, Banks and Hospitals. There is need to raise awareness about white cane campaign, and the government should take solemn steps to enhance the significance of white cane while issuing driving license.”

A senior journalist, Tahir Anjum condemned the negative social attitudes of individuals of society. If Govt. is not facilitating the PWDs, so there is a need to step forward for providing them support and counselling. We have to raise our voices for the rights of person with disabilities. Negative attitudes should be given up and positive attitudes and behaviours must be adopted, which would open the new avenues for the success of PWDs.

A journalist & social activist, Asif Munawar, said, “There should be one-window operation for the registration process of persons with disabilities. They are facing many physical, economic and social obstacles.”

“The government should provide a superior pattern of life to person with disability, and must play its vital role and introduce new vocational skills, trainings and opportunities for their empowerment.”

A social activist, Syeda Munazza said, “The situation calls for bringing out sense of deprivation in the personality of person with disability. The government should determine to find solution of their deprivation and pessimism, and resolve the problems and challenges of this marginalized group and bring an inspiring change to mainstream them.”

The executive director of AWAM, Nazia Sardar, said, “Women with disabilities are mostly facing hurdles more than men with disabilities.” Government should empower women with disabilities and must focus on their education, health and inclusion.” “Media should highlight the issues of women with disabilities and share the success stories with the public to enhance their abilities and talents,” she added.

This activity aims to identify the challenges and bureaucratic hurdles confronting persons with disabilities and get new ideal legislation according to their actual needs.

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