SWAT: Different events were held in various towns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities with the differently-abled people regretting that Chief Minister Mahmood Khan’s ‘promise’ to provide them with jobs and other facilities remains to be fulfilled.
The persons with disabilities demonstrated in front of the Swat Press Club.
The event was organised by Tanzeem Special Persons Awaz. Its president Ghulam Ahad and vice-president Sardar Hussain led the demonstration.
The protesters held placards and chanted slogans in favour of their demands. The differently-abled persons said they faced hardships amid record inflation.
They said they couldn’t do jobs as normal persons did, and faced many issues during these hard times.
Protest rally, functions mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The special persons regretted that the chief minister had assured to issue a notification to increase special persons’ quota in jobs from four to five per cent, but the promise was yet to be met.
In Bajaur, speakers at a function to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities called upon the government and well-off people to make sincere efforts for welfare of differently-abled people.
The ceremony was organised by Pakistan Red Crescent Society’s (PRCS) local chapter, the district administration and Anjuman Bahali-i-Mazooran Bajaur, an association of persons with disabilities. It was held in the ground of a government girls high school in Khar.
People with disabilities, officials of district administration, police, PRCS and social welfare department were in attendance. Scores of differently-abled women and girls were also present.
Additional deputy commissioner Naseer Khan, religious figures Maulana Khan Zeb, Maulana Ahmad Noor, PTI leader Sikander Zeb Khan, PPP’s Aurang Zeb, ANP’s Syed Sadiq Akbar, PRCS representative Shah Khalid and Anjuman Bahali-i-Mazooran president Bakhtwar Jan spoke on the occasion.
In Mohmand, PRCS’s local branch, the district administration, social welfare and sports departments organised a ceremony in Ghalanai Jirga Hall to mark the day.
Addressing the ceremony, additional deputy commissioner, finance, Qaiser Khan and others said persons with disabilities could play an important role in development of society if they were provided with education and economic opportunities.
PRCS’s district liaison officer Amjad Ali said the society had always given priority to welfare of differently-abled persons and had also provided them the required training to make a decent living.
In Lower Dir, a function and an awareness walk were held to mark the day. Relatives of persons with disabilities, social activists and elders participated in the functions.
The Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) in collaboration with PRCS organised a function at the district council hall with Timergara tehsil chairman Mufti Irfanuddin in the chair. Children with disabilities presented tableaus and speeches and also sang national songs.
Mr Irfanuddin, HHRD district programme officer Mohammad Bilal, PRCS representative Tariq Hassan, social welfare officer Khizar Hayat and others highlighted the rights of special persons and asked the participants to take extra care of them.
Later, the participants led by Mufti Irfanuddin held an awareness walk in the city.
In Khyber, three separate events were organised in Landi Kotal, Bara and Jamrud to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and to highlight the grievances of special persons and pledge support to them.
Niaz Disabled Welfare Organisation, a local entity, arranged a friendly match between the special persons of Jamrud and Bara at the Jamrud Sports Complex, which was won by Bara team after an interesting contest.
A sizeable number of local residents watched the match.
In Bara, Al-Khidmat Foundation of Jamaat-i-Islami distributed wheelchairs among 64 differently-abled persons, including 13 women.
Foundation’s provincial president Khalid Waqas gave away the wheelchairs to the needy persons.
Highlighting the importance of the day, he said organising such events was meant to discuss the problems confronted by special persons and also bring them into notice of the departments concerned.
He said provision of basic facilities and fulfillment of their legal rights was the responsibility of the state.
A similar gathering was held at the Hamza Baba mausoleum, where the participants demanded of the government to take practical steps to provide the differently-abled persons with jobs.
Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2022