ISLAMABAD - President Dr. Arif Alvi has said that disabled persons were equally important and valuable part of the society and their rights must be ensured in all spheres of life with special emphasis on accessibility and education. 

He said this while chairing a presentation on the “Role of Civil Society in Addressing Disability under the Ehsaas Programme” here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Wednesday.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza, MNA Kishwar Zara, MD Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal Aon Abbas Buppi, representative of WHO, NGOs and civil society were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the president said that differently-abled people deserve our special attention as they face many hardships, not all of them as a result of their disability.

He said that the government under Ehsaas Programme was making all out efforts to ensure their rights and provide them all kind of facilities.

He emphasised that collective efforts from all segments of society in synergy with the government are required to mainstream them in society as well as in social, economic and political decision making.  The president underlined that there was a need to focus on the education of disabled persons in regular schools without any extra charges. “Accessibility to different places is the major issue of disabled persons, thus we as a society must work collectively to make all public places easily accessible to them. We would have to create meaningful employment opportunities for our special persons so that they can play a constructive role in the development of the country,” the president added.

The president underscored that public awareness regarding disability is of pivotal importance in ensuring the rights of disabled persons. He added that media should add the content regarding disabilities in their programmes for the awareness of masses.