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KARACHI: Special children entertained

August 13, 2002

KARACHI, Aug 12: Over a 100 handicapped children had fun for over a couple of hours at a function organized at an elite seaside restaurant on Monday.

Children from four institutes — Ida Rieu School and College for the Blind and Deaf, Darul Sukoon, Prewa, and Hope and Faith — participated in the programme organized by the noted artist and social worker Jimmy Engineer.

The social worker on the occasion said that he had started organizing such Fun and Food for the Handicapped Children programmes over a year back so that these disabled children could also have fun that their normal counterparts were having as a matter of routine.

He said sometime back he had also started organizing film shows in cinemas for these children as the parents of these children faced great difficulties and also because they felt embarrassed so they avoided taking them on outings like picnic, films, particularly to crowded places.

He said many a parent of the disabled children had called him and said after seeing him take the handicapped children out, they had also gathered courage and had now started taking the children out.

He urged the parents of the special children to allow their children to mingle with the normal children so that the shyness that the handicapped children felt or the strange attitude that the normal children had towards the handicapped could be diluted.

He said with more exposure and interaction between the handicapped and the normal children they would understand each other better and act normally with each other when they grew up, and in the process the life of the handicapped children could become comparatively easier.

He said he organized such programmes so that the issues relating to the disabled people in general and handicapped children in particular were highlighted and the government and the philanthropists came forward to assist in easing out the problems being faced by these special people.

Shakeel Ahmad of the Salt’n Pepper Village restaurant on the occasion said Jimmy started these programmes from this restaurant and he was happy to see that it has become a success. He urged other hotels and restaurants to come forward and organize such programmes so that the handicapped children also had an opportunity to have some fun like the normal children.

The handicapped children danced and sang many national and folk songs at the function and enthralled their colleagues during the programme.

As the Independence Day follows in a couple of days the children had brought the national flags which they were waving throughout the musical part of the programme and when the performing children sang national songs “Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan” etc all other children who otherwise were either clapping or enjoying the songs and music joined in an started singing the national songs in a chorus.