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KARACHI: A vocational training programme for children and adults with disabilities was launched at a local hotel on Tuesday.

Titled Dastoor, the programme has been initiated by the Network of Organisations Working with People with Disabilities (NOWPDP).

In his welcome speech, Amin Hashwani, who heads NOWPDP, spoke about the economic implications of the disenfranchisement of persons with disabilities and called for efforts to establish an inclusive society.

Omair Ahmad, working as the organisation’s director, shared details of the vocational training programme. “We are evolving from school training to working now with mainstream vocational training centres to train adults with disabilities. The impact of this initiative will be far reaching and we hope to replicate it across Pakistan.”

Representatives of The Hunar Foundation, Zuleikhabai Valy Mohamed Gany Rangoonwala Trust and Pakistan American Cultural Center signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NOWPDP.

The chief executive officer of the Hunar Foundation Javed Hassan said the vision of his organisation was to see “a skilled Pakistan”.

“We take great pains to provide technical training to young men and women from lesser privileged areas of the country and have them certified.

“Another aim is to make them well rounded individuals by teaching them life skills, basic English language and mathematics, and preparing them for interviews,” he said.

He appreciated the efforts aimed at making people facing mental and physical challenges a productive part of society, and said the partnership for providing vocational training to young men with disabilities was a great initiative.

Interviews of potential beneficiaries were also shared with the audience, consisting of representatives from the government, corporate sector, non-profit organisations, the media, and educational institutes.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2016