Social inclusion of Persons with Disabilities is the need of the time but it’s not realized by the law enforcers yet.
Despite legal framework and several notifications related to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), the intention to ensure the social inclusion of PWDs is not realized by the law enforcers. PWDs are forced to live on the margin of life and still facing the typical and primitive attitudes of the general public.
A two-day long training session with disability rights action group (DRAG) revealed that PWDs are not considered a complete and healthy human being but a curse of God due to the sins of their ancestors. Resultantly, the families avoid to reveal their family members with disabilities.
The said event was organized by association of women for awareness and motivation (AWAM), aimed at imparting knowledge among the DRAG members about the disability related concepts, and equip them with working tools to identify PWDs in their respective areas for assisting them to register themselves with Social Welfare in order to access the reserved facilities and amenities. The facilitators of the workshop included Ms. Nazia Sardar, Iftikhar Ahmed, Hamid Yaseen, Um-E-Farwa, Waqas Pervez and Naseem Anthony.
Nazia Sardar research scholar Political Science and executive director AWAM suggested to enhance the visibility of PWDs by connecting them with different networks and alliances to affect the social attitudes. She further added ‘Political parties should include the PWDs into political mainstream and should include them into political decision-making process by reserving a seat in the parliaments and local government system.’
A free-lance journalist and DRAG member Iftikhar Ahmed has said, “it is imperative to mobilize the civil society groups to include the PWDs into their groups and passed a gesture of acceptance rather tolerance.”
Hamid Yaseen representative Faisalabad Union of Journalists (FUJ) revealed, “the successive government have not paid attention to improve the legal framework related to PWDs thus the ordeals of the PWDs are intact.” Social inclusion of PWDs is the need of time and law enforcers must consider the phenomenon, he added.
Waqas Pervez social mobilizer AWAM highlighted, “the authorities and institutions are not succeeded to collect the proper data of PWDs due to which the policies and reserved quota is unable to serve the population of PWDs according to their portion in the population.”
Representative of DRAG and women with disability Um-e-Farwa said, “we appreciate the government for practical measures to empower women however not considered the women with disabilities.” She called upon the authorities, “decision/policy must consider the women with disabilities while introducing policies and packages.”
Naseem Anthony program director AWAM shared, “the PWDs are the complete creation of God that must be treated under the subject of diversity.” “The societal fabric, infrastructure and social behaviours are hampering them to participate in the social activities”, he added. The other dignitaries include Latif Gill, Chaudhry Muhammad Saleem, Muhammad Altaf and Atif Chaudhry who expressed their views and participating in the strategic planning for future action to empower the persons with disabilities in district Faisalabad.