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KARACHI: Special kids should not be neglected

August 27, 2002

KARACHI, Aug 26: Over 100 handicapped children enjoyed music and other fun activities for a couple of hours at a function held at an elite city restaurant on Monday.

The function was organized by artist and social worker Jimmy Engineer under his Fun and Food for Handicapped Children Project, through which he has been taking handicapped children to various city hotels and restaurants regularly for over a year now.

Engineer said that he used to feel sorry when he saw that handicapped children did not have any opportunity to go out and have fun like normal children, so he thought of organizing such programmes so that special children could also have fun just as their normal counterparts had as a matter of routine.

He said it was unfortunate that many parents of handicapped children usually hid their special children from the neighbours etc, as they felt embarrassed. He said that if proper training and care was provided to handicapped children, they could also perform like normal children in almost all fields.

He urged the parents of handicapped kids to take their special children out, so that they could have an opportunity to interact with normal children.

He said that till the time that parents felt confident enough to take their handicapped children out to public recreational places like parks, some areas should be reserved in parks for handicapped children, so

that they could have a choice and play at these reserved spaces without any difficulties, in time becoming confident enough to play with normal children.

Engineer said that the western countries provided many facilities to handicapped people, while here they were not even given what was their due. He said that another reason for his organizing such programmes was to highlight problems being faced by handicapped people, so that somebody took notice of it and tried to solve their problems.

He urged philanthropists to come forward and provide assistance to the organizations that were working for the uplift of the handicapped in any way they could. He said that if everybody did whatever they could to help handicapped people, the lives of these people could become comparatively easier.

Rashid Lateef of Papassalli’s restaurant said that the moment Jimmy Engineer raised the issue, he volunteered to host the handicapped children once a month.

He said that he was happy to see that these special children were also enjoying the music and songs, and were dancing to the tunes like normal children.

Earlier, stage and television artist Farzana Naz, who has been performing at these programmes for over a year now, led a group of special children who sang many national and folk songs, and kept their colleagues belonging to the Ida Rieu School and College for the Deaf and Blind, Darul Sukoon, Hope and Faith, Prewa, and ACELP, enthralled with their performance.