The first lady Samina Arif Alvi, on Wednesday, stressed on comprehensive measures at every level for promoting inclusiveness for differently abled persons in all spheres of the society. She was addressing opening ceremony of Special Children’s Sports Gala and Scouting event organised by Institute of Holistic Rehabilitation and Inclusion (IHRI) in collaboration with World Memon Organisation at a local school.
Samina Arif Alvi said that it was vital for sustainable development of the country that inclusiveness must be promoted and participation of differently abled persons be ensured in all social, economic and political activities as over 10 percent of the population of Pakistan was facing disability in different forms or manifestation.
The first and foremost challenge that needs to be addressed was public mindset and common behaviour of society towards persons with disabilities that obstructs their growth and prospects of career building, she noted and urged people to not disrespect or ridicule such persons but encourage and support their participation in educational, social and economic activities.
Pakistan has already rectified UN convention on differently abled persons, there were certain laws and policies in place and special job quota was reserved in public sector while government and nongovernmental organisations were working for their facilitation and protection of their rights, she observed.
However, all the stakeholder need to focus on ensuring implementation on laws and policies in letter and spirit, further improving relevant policies, enhancing accessibility and a paradigm shift in overall social behaviour to bring the real change so that no one left behind, Samina Alvi maintained. “We need to focus on equipping the special children with market oriented technical and vocational skills and professional training so that they instead of relying on others could be able to earn their livelihood and become productive part of society and play due role in development and prosperity of the country,” she maintained.
The parents and healthcare providers should also ensure proper check up of a newly born child to diagnose any potential signs or symptoms of disability as timely treatment could save a child from lifelong disability, she advised.
The first lady also called for an inclusive education system that support learning of differently abled children along with other children in general schools so that they could learn coping with difficulties of life.