Saturday, February 4

President urges media to create awareness about PWDs’ rights

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday urged members of the public and private sectors to undertake special efforts for the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) into the mainstream of all sectors of life, particularly providing them education in mainstream institutions, ensuring the provision of quality and relevant healthcare facilities and treatment, providing employment as per their skills and abilities, implementing the job quotas for them, and creating an enabling and friendly environment for differently-abled people.

In his message on the International Day for Persons with Disabilities on Saturday, he said, “I have full faith in our leadership, relevant institutions, and the society that they will rise to the occasion and will take all necessary steps to promote an understanding of disability issues, mobilize support for their dignity, rights and well-being, increase their access to technology, enhance their accessibility to public places, create legal, social and economic conditions to ensure their full participation in all sectors, including employment, sports, education and other social activities”.

The President urge the media as an important stakeholder to play its role in dispelling and discouraging negative attitudes and stereotypes attached to PWDs through their media products. I also call upon the media to create awareness about the rights of PWDs and our obligations towards them.

He said he believes that if we join hands and direct our energies and efforts with commitment and determination, and take all stakeholders on board, we can succeed in integrating PWDs as equal and normal members of our society who are fully capable of contributing their due share to the progress and prosperity of our country.

Pakistan and the entire world are commemorating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) under the theme “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world” with a motive to promote the rights and well-being of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in all spheres of society.

According to a press release, the inclusion of PWDs or Differently-abled People (DAPs) in all aspects of life as equal and fully capable persons is paramount as over one billion people or almost 15% of the world’s population suffer from some form of disability. Unfortunately, out of this 15%, 80 per cent live in developing countries which includes Pakistan where the population of PWD is estimated to be more than 10%, which is indeed an alarming figure.

“On this day, we pledge ourselves to remove stereotypes attached to this huge population, take proactive steps to give them equal opportunities in all aspects of life, provide them with quality and customized education and skills which maximize their abilities, make them economically and financially empowered, besides creating enabling conditions for their participation as equals in political, social, economic and cultural mainstreams”, the President said.

He said on this day, we also pledge to take on board everyone, including persons with disabilities, to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 10, which strives to reduce inequality within and among countries by empowering and promoting the social, economic and political inclusion of all, including persons with disabilities.