PESHAWAR: The second National Solidarity T20 Blind Cricket Tournament commenced Monday at Arbab Niaz Stadium in the city. The tournament will span three days and is being held to pay tribute to those killed in the Army Public School and Bacha Khan University, Charsadda attacks on December 16, 2014 and January 20 respectively. Four teams from across the country are participating in the tournament.
Cricket teams from Islamabad, Okara in Punjab, Abbottabad and Peshawar are participating in the tournament. The opening ceremony was attended by Deputy Speaker Meher Taj Roghani, Directorate for Sports and Youth Affairs Director Tariq Mehmood, Peshawar Blind Cricket Club General Secretary Habibullah Khan and other members.
Habibullah announced the tournament would take place annually to pay tribute to those killed in the APS and BKU attacks. He said, “It is a gesture by those who are blind to show the world they are not different. They, too, have skills,” he added.
At the opening ceremony, Habibullah demanded the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government make a policy for those who are blind to help them move forward in life, and also provide them with packages.
Mehmood said the provincial government was organising a tournament in April for the blind in Abbottabad. “The provincial government is working for their welfare. We will continue to strive and provide them with more facilities,” he added.
Roghani announced a centre for those with physical and psychological disabilities will be opened in Peshawar soon where the students will be training in various sectors. “Those jobless due to a disability will train the students,” she said, adding work at the centre was under way. She also told The Express Tribune she was trying to get a legislation passed to secure the rights of the disabled.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2016.