Islamabad - International Day for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) was observed in Pakistan like other parts of the world and the society was urged to walk hand in hand with disabled persons, but for a faction, the particular day is worthless.

Abdul-Samad, with amputated right leg above from his knee is sitting under the metro-bus overhead bridge at Faizabad. His rusty and second-hand purchased crutches are also set aside.

The Nation asked to Samad about the value of this special day.

The middle aged man couldn’t control the emotions which had emerged in response of the question and he bursts into tears, trying to hide his face with arm and clearing the wet eyes with his shirt. He replied,

“Nothing, this day has no significance for me or any poor who can’t have the accesses in power corridors.”

Samad, who runs a tyre repairing workshop in Rajanpur, a district in southern Punjab province, was shot in his leg in a robbery attempt when he resisted to hand over his motorbike.

Burglars snatched his bike forcefully and Abdul Samad had to lose his half leg when doctors in Multan and Rahim Yar Khan declared the damage irreparable.

Now, he has travelled around 600 kilometres and reached Rawalpindi to get artificial limb.

“My monthly income reduced from 18000 to 8000 because of this tragedy and such days have no meaning if the state cannot help the people in need,” he said.

Abdul Samad said he has no message for government at this day because the loss he faced cannot be recovered, but the justice in his case will give him some comfort as the accused are still at large.

“Being a poor itself is a punishment and if you are a disable person you have to face the taunting eyes of the society also,” he said.

United Nations (UN) celebrated December 03 as International Day of PWDs under the theme of ‘Achieving 17 Goals for The Future We Want’. And 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) includes building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities.

As per UN data around a billion people in the world live with some form of disability while this year’s objective also include laying the foundation for a future of greater inclusion for persons with disabilities.

The country, in July 2011 had inked the Instrument of Ratification with UN on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but the implementation on the agreement has not been done with the spirit it was required.

Though the projects of inclusive educations were initiated in public and private sector but the access of people to these institutions has remained a problem where a large number of people are not aware of the developments.

While the persons with disabilities in far regions and especially from rural areas are the most neglected and deprived from any kind of inclusive education.

The transporters are ragging and mocking a mentally disable person on the bus station of Pir Wadhai while he in return is trying to hit the people and spit on the ones who come in his reach.

“We call him Shaukat, this bus stand gave him this name three years back because we don’t know anything about his origin,” said Mohammad Yunus, the one on whom Shaukat had some trust.

He begs in this area while transporters daily make fun of him, no one knows about his identity or his relatives, if it is the day of persons with disabilities, Shaukat has no benefit of it, said Yunus.

Shaukat was having no message for government because he cannot understand, speak and listen.

However, AAl-e-Ali who is sightless and MPhil scholar in psychology viewed that the day has a worth but due to lack of awareness, the potential of disable persons is being wasted.

“This day, every year is celebrated only as a day, while implementation on the objectives regarding welfare of disable people is required,” said Ali.

He also said the role of inclusive education must be enlarged also and should be extended to every corner of the country.

“Society must understand that disable persons are also part of it and they must be given special attention and proper home work by the state for their development that can bring a positive change,” he said.

Ali stated that the academic research done on disable persons should not be let in the cupboards and libraries, as its implementation can help in transforming the society.

State Minster for Capital Administration and Development Division, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry in a ceremony held for disable persons said that government has taken extraordinary steps for welfare of special persons.

“Government is paying full attention to impart education to special children.”

The official from Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education (SWSE) while talking to The Nation said that government is trying to bridge the gap between disable persons and other societies.

He said various steps have been taken to extend the circle of inclusive education however enough has not done because Pakistan has signed the charter with UN now.

“After 18th amendment, the federal has become limited but still it is working as per its capacity to establish various public sector special education rehabilitation centres and other institutions,” he said.

The official said more efforts are required on federal and provincial level to create awareness in the society.

Meanwhile, The Nation asked Mohammad Javed, who begs near a metro-bus station that has he ever travelled in the bus as there is a reserved seat for the special people in the glittering transport service.

Javed replied, “No authority allows us to enter in bus platforms”.