Helping disabled citizens

Letter December 01, 2012
Disabled people continue to live in conditions of poverty, uncertainty, not knowing what future holds for them.

NOWSHERA: World Disabled Day is going to fall on December 3 and it will be a stark reminder of the tough life that disabled people live in Pakistan, mainly because of the government’s neglect in doing anything to help them. On the day itself, we see top government functionaries make all kinds of promises at seminars and conferences, pledging that they will make policies to improve the lives of disabled people but after the day passes, everything goes back to what it was.

Disabled people in Pakistan continue to live in conditions of poverty and uncertainty, not knowing what the future holds for them. With physical immobility on the one hand and lack of resources and insufficient income on the other, most of them do not have access to quality educational institutions or the facilities to acquire requisite skills needed for gainful employment.

While the government has undertaken some schemes to help them, the fact is that these are far too inadequate, considering the number of disabled persons in Pakistan and the intensity of their problems. Their disability not only causes physical discomfort but also mental trauma and frustration as they cannot be part of mainstream life, which makes their life doubly difficult. The reservation provided by the government in jobs is too little and hence, do not benefit most of the disabled persons.

Many persons with disabilities have been seeking suitable jobs for the last several years but sadly, in most cases, their efforts are wasted. Instead of making promises that it cannot keep, I would request the government to do something concrete for the plight of disabled people.

Zafarullah Khan

Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2012.