Affirmative action: ‘Neither pity nor charity’

Seminar calls for inclusive initiatives for the physically challenged.


Our Correspondent October 31, 2013
File photo of a person in a wheelchair. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE:


A seminar on disability and the concept of independent living titled Let’s Make the Right Real was held at the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) here on Wednesday.


It was organised by the LCWU Department of City and Regional Planning (CRP).

The seminar was addressed by Kyung Seok Park, a representative of Asia and Pacific Disability Forum (APDF) and Korea Blind Women Union representative NakYoung Lee.

Both speakers talked about the struggle of Korean rights activists for inclusion of people with disabilities in mainstream society. Two videos showing physically challenged Korean people demonstrating for their rights in creative ways were also screened.

“People with disabilities just want their rights. They don’t want pity or charity,” Park said.

He shared videos about how psychically challenged people of Korea succeeded in getting Personal Assistant Services (PAS) and a transportation system catering to their needs.

“But there is still a long way to go,” he said.

He said his trip to Pakistan was aimed at expressing solidarity with people working to achieve an inclusive society.

Speaking on the occasion, CRP Department head Muhammad Atiqur Rehman said the LCWU was the first university to establish an independent living centre for disabled students of the varsity.

He said the centre catered to the needs of 34 blind and physically challenged students of the university.

Rehman said the university aimed at becoming a barrier-free campus.

Milestone Society for Special Persons President Shafiqur Rehman said there was a lot to learn from the struggle of Korean disability leaders. He thanked the Korean delegation for coming to Pakistan on his foundation’s invitation.

Later, the Korean delegation met LCWU Vice Chancellor Sabiha Mansoor.

The VC apprised the guests of the initiatives taken for special students at the varsity.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2013.

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