FAISALABAD-Despite reserved facilities and three percent job quota, differently-abled persons are still living on the margins of their life due to inaccessible infrastructure and bureaucratic hurdles to claim the dedicated services.

Ministry of Human Rights and Treaty Implementation Cell must consider the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and revise the statutes to make it harmonize with international standards.

The authorities must not approve the maps for public and private buildings without accessibility code.

This was an upshot of the interactive session called by the “Panah Pakistan” in collaboration with Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM) and Disability Rights Action Group (DRAG). The session was presided over by Mian Iftikhar Ahmad Chairman Panah Pakistan.

Nazia Sardar research scholar and executive director Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM said, “the government has reserved facilities and announced quota yet cannot be claimed without disability registration certificate that is a lengthy and complicated process as only District Head Quarter Hospitals in mostly district authorized to do the task.” “Concerned authorities must allow the Tehsil Headquarters to perform the task for persons with major disabilities such as visually impaired and physically impaired,” she added.

Dr Mozam Bin Zahoor, a disability rights activist, lamented that inaccessible public and private buildings and demanded that the authorities should adopt a policy to not approve the maps that are not providing access to differently abled persons.

Ch Muhammad Saleem acknowledges that neither the government nor the civil society organisation paid attention to right-based approach to development and suggested,

“Civil society organisations must join hands for collaborative efforts to empower these persons and for creating an enabling environment for them so that they would take part in the development of Pakistan.”

Ch Abdul Hameed DO Special Education claimed that the authority had ensured the accessibility in his respective territory however he further said, “such persons must not be treated as an incomplete object but as a complete human being that needs the social acceptance.”

Program Director AWAM Naseem Anthony said, “The disability-related statutes bear lacunas and glitch that need to be addressed seriously considering the international framework of disability as defined by UNCRPD and SDGs.

The other speakers including Pervez, Amna Ehsan, Muhammad Altaf, and Muhammad Latif Gill raised grave concerns towards authorities for not having complete data due to which legislatures were unable to introduce a comprehensive legal framework.