Assistive devices, cash distributed among visually impaired flood-hit citizens

People from eight districts attend World Blind Union-funded programme in Larkana

Photo: Pakistan Association of the Blind (PAB) Facebook Page

LARKANA: The Pakistan Association of the Blind (PAB) has reiterated its longstanding demanded of effective implementation of the five per cent job quota for visually impaired people.

Speaking at a programme held at Begum Nusrat Bhutto Multipurpose Hall here on Monday, PAB president Qari Saad Noor and general secretary Riaz Memon regretted that successive governments had failed to absorb persons with disability in jobs as per the allocated quota.

The failure, they said, deprived a large number of such educated citizens of employment.

The visually impaired educated and qualified persons happened to be worst-affected, they said, asserting that such people could be good telephone operators, teachers and other staffers.

“They should better be employed and must not be left to beg on roads,” they said.

The leaders urged government to play its role in providing them respectable livelihood and absorb them in all departments as per their qualification and abilities under the job quota.

“Don’t call us ‘special’ or ‘abnormal’ people … we are normal human beings,” they said.

Larkana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) president Ahmed Ali Shaikh presided over the event, where Mayor Anwar Ali Nawaz Luhar and Deputy Commissioner Saleemullah Odho were the guest of honour. A large number of differently abled men, women and children coming from eight districts attended the programme.

The World Blind Union (WBU) in collaboration with the Larkana PAB had organised the programme to distribute assistive devices and financial assistance to the flood-affected people with disabilities.

A total of 53 persons were given a token money of Rs15,000 each, along with gifts of white cane, talking watch and MP3 players; and 20 others were given brail slates, brail papers, MP3 and talking watch each.

Speaking to the audience, LCCI chief Mr Shaikh said: “I am proud to be amongst the blind people at this event; their courage, commitment and conviction speaks volume of the determination that they could not be lagged behind other people in discharging their duties”. “We are mistaken to call them blind; actually we don’t have the inner eye to judge their potential and abilities,” he said.

He said the LCCI would extend all possible help to the PAB. He called for bringing all begging persons with visual impairment under the umbrella of this association so that they could be helped and trained for jobs and other livelihoods.

Larkana DC Saleemullah Odho said though the visually impaired could not see, they undoubtedly possessed the highest qualities of other senses. He asked such people not to hold themselves inferior in society. He pointed out that smart gadgets had now been devised to help them lead a normal life. He held out the assurance that they would be absorbed in government jobs as per their reserved quota.

Mayor Luhar, regional director of the department of empowerment of persons with disabilities Zahida Kakepoto and Larkana Press Club president Murtaza Kalhoro also spoke.

They said visually impaired persons deserved special attention. They stressed the need for supporting them in getting education and higher education, and also honing their skills in their fields of interest.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.