Society becomes disabled while dealing with people with disabilities, said Mohsin Qaim Khani, who claims to be Pakistan’s youngest grade 19 officer in government service.
“We all are able but in a different way,” he remarked while sitting in a specially designed wheelchair.
Sharing his story, he said that he was paralysed after an accident while he was studying at an engineering college in 2005.
He was speaking during an interactive session, titled ‘Burden of Disability and Challenges in Pakistan’, which was held at Aga Khan University Hospital to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities yesterday afternoon.
‘‘We do not need to be remorseful because we are disabled. Instead, we should demand people trust us’’, remarked Javed Sheikh, who is the CEO of a human resource consultancy firm.
He shared the story of one of his acquaintances, who became blind and deaf after an accident, but is defying all odds by working now.
This is all due to the initial support given to such people, he said, adding we need to accept our disabilities and move on with our lives.
“Disability is nothing and we must all stay united,” said Nasimuddin, who was born blind.
According to him, he was the first person to win a car on Neelam Ghar, a TV show, in 1985 due to his sharp memory.
Society needs to stop ignoring people with disabilities, he said, adding if they are given proper education they can realise their dreams.
People with disabilities need to be given proper attention, said Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation president Dr Mohamed Wasay. “[You have to] make the best of whatever you have.”
Sharing statistics, he said about 1bn people (15% of the world population) suffer from some kind of disability.
He further remarked that out of total 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, five are related to disabilities.
In Pakistan, around 56% people with disabilities reside in Punjab while 28 per cent live in Sindh, he pointed out.
Dr Wasay remarked that only 14% people with disabilities are currently working in the country, around 10% have access to rehabilitation facilities, while only 17% get social and educational support.
Around 43% of the disabled population comprises children, he added.
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