KARACHI: I want to learn pipe cutting and carpentry and my inspiration is my brother. With God’s will and my constant hard work I hope to get a good job after my training, said Humair Rasheed, a person with hearing impairment.
Rasheed is one of the few people who will be able to achieve his dream through ‘Dastoor’, a vocational training programme launched by Network of Organizations Working with People with Disabilities, Pakistan (NOWPDP). The programme seeks to instill various skills in people who are differently-abled.
Dastoor has been launched in collaboration with various organisations including Hunar Foundation, Zuleikhabai Valy Mohamed Gany (ZVMG) Rangoonwala Trust and Pak-American Cultural Centre (PACC).
“The biggest growing industry in Pakistan, is the industry of inequality; the division between the ‘haves’ and ‘haves not’,” said NOWPDP president Amin Hashwani during the launch ceremony at Marriott Hotel on Tuesday. The disparity between three per cent of ‘haves’ and 90% of ‘have nots’ is growing at an alarming rate, he said, adding that the situation becomes much worse while accounting for people with disabilities.
“Around 10% of Karachi’s total population of differently-abled people suffers under the same banner of not getting fair treatment, be it in the education sector or health facilities,” remarked Hashwani. “With Dastoor we are sowing the seed for development. It is a larger than life project and though we are beginning with Karachi we will soon be going to different places in the country.”
On the occasion, NOWPDP director Omair Ahmad said many people use negative words while speaking about people with disabilities, however, our manifesto is such that we provide a positive vibe to differently-abled people and encourage them to let go of the negativity.
“Our vision of Pakistan includes a skilled Pakistan and vocational training is very critical to skill development, said Hunar Foundation CEO Javed Hasan.
Speaking about people with disabilities, he remarked that we should not consider them different from us just because they have different needs. “Rather than giving them special favours, we should treat them as our equals,” he added.
NOWPDP project manager Erum Daniyal informed that so far 18 men with disabilities had learnt the art of plumbing from Hunar Foundation.
Speaking about the work done at ZVMG Rangoonwala Trust, organisation’s art gallery director Riffat Alavi said that it teaches people with disabilities to paint and draw. As many as six girls will avail the services of the trust through ‘Dastoor’, informed Daniyal.
Many people have even enrolled for different English programmes at PACC, said PACC English language programme director Madiha Rehman.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2016.