KARACHI, Oct 4: Over a 100 handicapped children had fun for over three hours watching wild animals from close range during a sightseeing tour of the Safari Park on Tuesday morning.

Children from the Ida Rieu School and College for the Deaf and Blind, Darul Sakoon, Aghosh and Al-Rozan participated in the function organized jointly by noted artist and social worker Jimmy Engineer and the city government.

The children riding in buses were taken to the Safari area, located in the backyard of the Safari Park, where over 500 wild animals are kept in large enclosures.

Buses carrying children were stopped at all enclosures one by one and the children were given briefings about the animals. The children, watching wildlife so close to them, liked the experience very much.

After a tour of the Safari area, a puppeteer kept the young audience spellbound for over an hour with his show displaying his skills. They children appreciated his performance by giving long bouts of applause. A sumptuous lunch was also served to the children during the show.

A wildlife trader had also brought a pair of lion cubs, which became an instant hit with the children, who took turns holding the animals in hands and patting them.

Speaking on the occasion, social worker Jimmy Engineer said he had been organizing such functions under his fun and food programme for special children for over three years now.

Under such programmes, he takes over a 100 special children at least once a month to five star hotels or elite city restaurants and clubs so they too can enjoy and have fun like normal children.

He said this time, he, with the cooperation of the city government, had brought the special children to the Safari Park so that the children could watch the wildlife and have fun.

He urged the parents of the special children not to feel shy and not to hide their children from the public. Instead, he said that, such children should be treated normally and taken out to public places so they came in contact with people.

In this way, with time and more interaction, the normal and special people will start treating each other normally.

He said that in developed Western countries, governments provided many facilities for the handicapped people, but unfortunately in Pakistan, they were not even provided their due rights.

Mr Engineer said one of the reasons for organizing the kind of programmes was that in that way, issues relating to the handicapped people were highlighted and could hopefully be solved as well.

Earlier, Rehana Saif, Tariq Naseer, Dr Kazim Hussain of the Safari Park said they had organized programmes for the special children so they could also have fun like normal children.

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