PWDS 10 percent of population, needed to be given skills: Samina

47


First Lady, Begum Samina Arif Alvi, has said that more than 10% of Pakistan’s population comprised of persons with disabilities (PWDs), and needed to be turned into active and productive members of society by imparting education and market-relevant skills. She underscored that PWDs should not be neglected and actively included in the mainstream of socio-economic activities.
The First Lady expressed these views while addressing the graduation ceremony of PWDs, at the Network of Organizations Working with Persons with Disabilities (NOWPDP) House, in Karachi, today. The ceremony included a graduation of 668 individuals, graduating in various trades such as White Collar, Blue Collar and Financial Literacy Training.
NOWPDP hosted their graduation ceremony under the banner of Hunar. Hunar is one of the seven pillars of NOWPDP, where persons with disabilities are provided training to attain marketable skills in various sectors and be empowered to secure employment and become productive and prosperous citizens of Pakistan.
The Gathering was attended by the President and CEO of NOWPDP, corporate and retail partners, teachers/ trainers and graduates of NOWPDP.
Addressing the ceremony, the First Lady said that Pakistan needed to adopt and promote policies that enhanced inclusivity, besides increasing the acceptance of PWDs in society. She further said that PWDs were not left behind in society only because of their illness or disability, but rather because of different barriers in society that hindered their participation in social activities.
While admiring and acknowledging NOWPDP’s active role in striving for persons with disabilities, First Lady appreciated the initiatives directed towards enhancing skill sets for the inclusion of differently-abled persons as well as fighting the social stigma attached to disabilities in general. She stated how NOWPDP had worked alongside her and her team in ensuring that all avenues were exhausted in order to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities into the society and active workforce, from taking NADRA on board to backing legislation on including persons with disabilities in the regular fabric of society.