OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE - International Day of Persons with Disabilities was commemorated at Special Education and Training Centre Johar Town here on Saturday. The chief guest was famous tennis player Aisamul Haq while renowned psychiatrist from UK Dr Akmal Makhdoom, Principal SETC Zarina Farrukh and a large number of parents and children also attended the function. President Mental Health Federation Dr IAK Tareen in his welcome address said that persons with disabilities were more than 15pc of our population. The ratio of physically disabled persons was 40pc, 20pc mentally disabled, 10pc each visual and hearing disables while rest 10pc were suffering from other disabilities among the disabled persons, he said. Project Director of SETC Dr Khalida Tareen in her address said this was the first institution in our country which introduced comprehensive education for disabled and normal children. She announced that over 200 disabled and 450 normal poor children were getting free education in SETC. She said that we made a commitment on world disabled day that we would ensure education and technical skills for all children with disabilities. Tennis star Aisam ul Haq distributed prizes among the special children. Meanwhile talking to TheNation, Rana Tab Irfani, Chairman World Blind Authors Forum said that the disable persons should be given at least 1pc quota in Senate, National Assembly and Provincial assemblies so that they could raise their voice for right. He also demanded the government of establishing Old Age Homes and Technical Centres for disables persons on district level. He said that the disabled persons should show their mettle to prove that they were not less than others. Prof Dr Tariq Aziz said, the LDA bylaws did not allow construction of any building without ramps for the wheel-chairs but what was happening here needed no explanation. He cited an example of Punjab Social Welfare Department in the Civil Secretariat saying it too lacked the ramp. You can well imagine the priorities of the government, he asked. The same is the situation in the Five Star hotels, he said, that too lacked attached toilets suitable for the wheelchairs. To a query that how the fate of the special persons can be improved, he said, the government should appoint eligible and qualified disabled persons as the heads of the institutions for the disabled. Iftikhar Sulehri, a PhD scholar at Punjab University, has said that the government should announce housing colonies for the disabled persons, adding that special ramps should also be built in building entrances for the wheel-chair persons. It is remarkable to mention here that on October 14, 1992 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed Dec 3 as the International Day of Disabled Persons. This day was first observed on Dec 3, 1992. Theme for 2011 (this year) is: Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development.