PESHAWAR: Pashto poet and chief of Special Abilities Development Association (Sada) Khursheed Alam has decided to open a school for special persons in his village in Lower Dir district on International Day of People with Disabilities.
He has asked the government to set up a separate department through legislation to address the issues and problems of persons with disabilities.
He said that he would launch a school for special persons in his village on Tuesday to present the most precious gift to them on International Day of People with Disabilities by enrolling 11 physically challenged children.
“I am opening this facility comprising 17 rooms with the support of philanthropists on experimental basis within our available resources. I have 80 other persons with disabilities, who will be accommodated as more resources are created. I hope that government will pay attention to the issues of special people,” he told this scribe during his recent visit to Peshawar.
Khursheed Alam asks govt to set up separate department for disabled persons
However, the poet said unless a separate department was set up created through a law no issue including two per cent job quota for special persons would be implemented in letter and spirit.
Mr Alam was affected by polio at the tender age of three. He remained bedridden till he turned 11. His elder brother late Aftab Alam used to carry him on his back to and from school but an accident left Khursheed Alam to rest of his life through his self-support.
His education suffered a knee jerk in sixth grade but he did his matric as private candidate and later did masters in Pashto literature and also received primary school teaching certificate.
Gifted with multi-talents, Mr Alam got a teaching job 10 years ago in the education department but had to call it a day two years ago to serve the cause of disabled persons. He was able to pay several visits to the US, South Korea, Japan and UAE.
He heads the provincial Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) network of Pakistan.
He said that social welfare department estimated the number of persons with disabilities in the province around 70, 000 but as there was no column in the census form, one couldn’t rely on it.
Mr Alam said he was heading a literary body ‘Dir Pakhto Adabi Tolana and also performed parodies and could play sitar. He said he had been publishing articles in literary magazines and hosting shows on radio and TV.
He said that he would continue raising voice for the rights of people with disabilities at every forum while providing education, healthcare, sports facilities and job opportunities to them would remain his top priority.
Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2019