KARACHI, Dec 06 (APP):The first lady Samina Arif Alvi, on Tuesday, stressed on collective efforts for bringing change in mental approach towards differently abled persons in society and promoting their inclusion, acceptability and accessibility in all walks of life.
She was addressing the graduation ceremony at network of organizations working for Persons with Disabilities (NOWPDP) Pakistan vocational training institute in which award and certificates were distributed among differently abled students who had completed technical and vocational courses in various trades.
Samina Arif Alvi said that it was our collective responsibility to work together for bringing change in society as it was not physical or mental disability that obstructs the growth and prospects of special persons but a limited and discriminative mental approach prevailing in society.
She noted that Pakistan had already rectified UN convention on differently abled persons, there were certain laws and policies in place while government and non-governmental organizations were working for their facilitation, protection of their rights and promotion of the agenda.
However, all the stakeholder needed to focus on ensuring implementation on laws and policies in letter and spirit, further improving relevant policies, enhancing accessibility and a paradigm shift in overall social behaviour to bring the real change so that no one left behind, Samina Alvi maintained.
It was need of the hour to bring an end to discriminative attitude towards differently abled persons and ensure and promote their social and financial inclusion in every sphere of the life, she added.
According to available data around one billion people around the world were facing with any form of mental or physical disability while a large number of Pakistanis were also facing such challenges, she informed and urged on promotion of policies aimed at inclusion of differently abled persons.
Begum Alvi said that besides tradition and education focusing on equipping the special children with market oriented technical and vocational skills and professional training was also needed to become productive part of the society by utilizing their capabilities and play due role in development and prosperity of the country.
Appreciating efforts of NOWPDP management for providing job oriented training to special children and also assisting them in getting jobs, Samina Arif Alvi said that besides specialised institutions differently abled children should also be provided opportunities of education and learning at general schools.
The government has taken initiatives for construction of PWD friendly buildings in future, she noted and said that further steps were required for provision of ramps and other facilities to improve accessibility of special persons.
She stressed on print, electronic and social media to spread awareness and promote idea of inclusion of differently abled persons and avoid use of inappropriate language as to.
President NOWPDP Amin Hashwani addressing at the occasion said that persons with disabilities were essential part of the society and measures were required to bring them into mainstream so that they could play active role in development of the country.
The mental approach and mindset of public regarding status of PWDs was also changing by time that would help removing barriers in development of special persons, he observed and advised special children to become role models for others by successfully combating the challenges of real life with determination and forbearance.
CEO NOWPDP Omair Ahmed and Fatima speaking at the occasion informed that 668 students have completed their courses in centres at Karachi, Sujjawal and Islamabad in white collar, blue collar and financial literacy training.
Earlier the first lady Samina Arif Alvi visited different sections of the institute including textile lab, Computer lab and arts gallery.
At the end, Samina Arif Alvi distributed awards among the best performing students while the Institute’s management presented souvenir to the distinguished guest.