ISLAMABAD - Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting, National History & Literary Heritage Ms Marriyum Aurangzeb on Sunday said that country-wide collective efforts were needed for the people with disabilities to help them become useful members of the society.

She said this while addressing a function here at the National Council of Arts, jointly organised by the World Health Organisation, Ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division and other stakeholders marking the World Day for Persons with Disabilities .

Referring to the theme of the day 'transformation forwards sustainable and resilient society for all', the Minister said that it was incumbent upon all segments of the society to make a pledge for taking steps for the education and training of the special children and ensuring equal rights for them as citizens of the country.

Everybody should prepare himself to be answerable to the Almighty Allah in that respect, she added.  The Minister of State said that any kind of disability could be overcome with courage and unswerving determination.  Extending help to the special children helped in building their confidence, she added.

Marriyum said that the PML-N government was taking concrete steps for the education of special children and in the Prime Minister's Education Reforms Programme also it had been taken care of.

She said that in the new system of transport, priority had been given to the provision of ramps and five buses had been dedicated for the special children. The number would be increased gradually, she revealed.  She said that the special children had a significant role in the development of the society and she was impressed and elated to watch the programmes presented by the special children during the function.

Marriyum promised that she would play a vibrant role in the legislation regarding special children and personally monitor the implementation of projects devised for the special children.

She urged the national and international organisations to assist the Government of Pakistan in carrying out the ongoing projects as well as in initiating new ventures for the education and training of the special children and people with disabilities .

The Minister said that there would be no person among the participants of the function who would not have wished the special children to walk with them.  Marriyum said that she always felt tremendous pain while speaking on the subject of disability as she herself had to go through it because of an accident.

"When a man exhibits courage and mounts a quest for the achievement of an objective even God helps in its fulfillment," she said. She observed that only the children with disabilities and their parents could feel the real pain of disability. The people with disabilities had to endure physical pain as well as mental stress, she said, adding, that the parents had a key role in making their disabled children useful members of the society.

Marriyum said that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was a very hard working Prime Minister and his wife - the first lady - had graced the first ever official function which was a great honour for all of them and also a source of encouragement, particularly for the special children.

The Minister said that planning for any sphere of national life required authentic and reliable statistics and the government would endeavour to benefit from the recent census results as well as surveys conducted by the World Health Organisation so that a comprehensive policy regarding special children could be formulated.

She announced live coverage of the Blind World Cricket Cup by PTV and also promised to start a special new bulletin for the special persons on the official channel.