Samina Alvi urges trade bodies to play leading role in rehabilitation, inclusion of DAPs

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First Lady Samina Alvi on Monday emphasized the trade bodies especially the major ones like Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to come forward and involve their member companies to actively contribute in the rehabilitation and inclusion in the economic and social activities of the differently abled persons who, according to WHO data, figure more than 16 percent.

She was speaking during dialogue with KCCI members on her visit to the chamber aimed at mobilizing the business community to join this great national cause. Karachi Chamber is the biggest chamber of the country having over 25,000 industries and trading entities as its members. The DAPs cause was being pursued by President Dr. Arif Alvi and the First Lady in coordination with the concerned Federal and Provincial governments, and the private sector and the civil society.

It was decided that KCCI would redirect its corporate social responsibilities (CSRs) program in line with the data provided by government organizations. Like other trade bodies, KCCI would inform about the manpower need of the member companies so that the government and social welfare bodies engaged in the rehabilitation of the special persons to provide education and vocational training accordingly. This would help the placement of DAPs in the trade and industries to the maximum benefit of the business community as well.

She regretted that DAPs were being discriminated at all levels –starting from their own families and friends. Instead of taking all possible steps to make them equally productive , DAPs were being marginalized by declaring them misfit to normal jobs.

She urged the private sector to ensure at least a five percent job quota; 5 % is fixed for the private sector and an equal number for the public sector. The banks should also ensure easily accessible soft loans for these less privileged persons to facilitate them to start their own businesses.

“We as a nation would have to stand with these differently abled persons and make equally capable and productive,” she asserted adding that there was need to provide all required gadgets at shopping malls and other public places to facilitate DAPs.

Ms. Samina Alvi expressed her satisfaction that wheel chairs and while canes were being manufactured in the country. However, it was needed at large scale to ensure availability to every one in need..—APP