Srinagar: Number of functions were held today across Kashmir valley to observe the ‘World Disability Day’.
In Srinagar the main function was organised at GHSS Kothibagh which was presided over by Secretary Social Welfare Farooq Ahmad Lone. Speaking on the occasion he said that the Social Welfare Department is committed to provide scholarships, pension and public transport facilities to the specially-abled persons. Secretary also appreciated the work of ZaibaAapa School of Inclusive Education for their contribution towards the children with special needs.
Speaking at the function Director School Education Kashmir, Dr. G.N. Itoo said that 22525 specially-abled students are enrolled in Government and recognized private schools of the Kashmir Division. He said special emphasis is laid on their education and providing them with other facilities. The DSEK announced the “First Serve” facility to the persons with special needs in all the offices and schools of the Department. He said that a circular regarding “First Serve” will be issued soon and all the officers shall comply with the directions. DSEK said that this step is being taken to add to the dignity of these special persons and empowering them.
Joint Director Abid Hussain, Chief Education Officer Srinagar Mudasir Kaleem Fazili, principals from various higher secondary schools of Srinagar, teachers, students and a large number of specially-abled persons were also present on the occasion.
AT COMPOSITE REGIONAL CENTRE (CRC), Bemina, an awareness cum orientation programme and a distribution camp was organized to observe ‘World Disability Day’.
On this occasion, the students also performed various cultural programmes highlighting the social and legal needs of the specially-abled persons in the society.
The function was attended by number of Anganwadi Workers of Social Welfare Department J&K and specially-abled persons.
During these events Director CRC highlighted the aim, objectives, and welfare schemes for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs).
AT BANDIPORA, the Department of Education, Bandipora observed the Day with an aim to raise awareness about the rights of the individuals with special abilities and sensitize the people about their problems.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary stressed on providing better facilities to the children with special abilities so that they can get a better education. He said providing better education and healthcare facilities to such individuals should be the priority for all and assured that all required measures shall be taken to ensure a better education for these individuals.
He announced a special grant of Rs five lakh for improving the education facilities for the students with special abilities. He said Government has taken several measures for the welfare of the disabled persons from time to time, including financial assistance in the shape of pension, free education, free medical treatment, free travel, vocational programmes and other sops and a large number of people are availing these benefits.
AT ANANTNAG, similar functions were organized at various places across the District. The main function was organized in Town Hall Anantnag by the Department of Social Welfare, Anantnag in collaboration with District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), Anantnag and South Kashmir Handicapped Association, in which a large number of physically challenged persons of the district participated.
Secretary DLSA, Anantnag was the Chief Guest on the occasion, while as ADDC, Anantnag was the guest of honor.
District Social Welfare Officer, Anantnag Dr Farhat Ahmad welcomed the Guests.
Secretary DLSA while addressing the audience said that efficient legal assistance shall be provided to the Specially-Abled Persons. She added that DLSA will provide all possible legal assistance to such persons. She added that such persons can bring their problems in her notice whenever they need.
ADDC, Anantnag Riyaz Ahmad Sofi while speaking on the occasion said that there are various special schemes for the welfare of Specially-Abled Persons and the deserving avail the benefits of these schemes.
South Kashmir Handicapped Persons Association submitted a list of demands to the administration regarding increase in financial assistance, increase in reservation of handicapped in government jobs, decrease of electricity charges, providing of free water connections, social welfare department to be asked for providing wheel chairs, tricycle, hearing machine, and crutches for their welfare.
Among others present on the occasion include Members of the Civil Society, Office Bearers of South Kashmir Handicapped Persons Association, Lawyers, Journalists, and Bankers and Educationists.
A similar function was organized by the Education Department Anantnag at DIET, Anantnag, in which a good number of physically challenged students participated.
The ADC, Anantnag, Showkat Ahmad, who was the Chief Guest on the occasion, stressed upon the society to encourage the differently abled children by way of providing them guidance and information about various government sponsored financial assistance and other aids like wheel chairs, hearing aids, wheel crutches and artificial limbs.
In the end of the event, the students participated in Naa’tiya competition and prizes were distributed among the participants.
AT BUDGAM, Deputy Commissioner Budgam, Dr Syed SehrishAsgar presided over the function organized at ANM School Khanpora Budgam.
Director Health Services, Kashmir, Dr Kunzes Dolma was also present on the occasion as a Guest of Honour. CMO Budgam, Dr Nazir Ahmad, MS JLNM Hospital Dr. Zakir Hussain, MS DH Budgam, Dr Deeba, doctors, teachers and other concerned were present on the occasion.
DC Budgam said that doctors have a pivotal role to play in facilitating this talented section of the populace and urged the society at large and audience in particular to make utmost efforts for empowerment of specially-abled persons by way of effective inclusion in the society and governance.
On the occasion Director Health Services, Kashmir spoke on the need of sanitization of health officials regarding the issues of disability and urged the officials to be more concerned and compassionate while dealing with differentially abled persons with a sense of empowering them.
AT BARAMULLA, District Legal Services Authority Baramulla organised a function here at District Court Complex. Principal District and Sessions Judge Rajesh Sekhri was the chief guest on the occasion.
School children with differently abled, lawyers, legal experts, paralegal volunteers, teachers, parents and various others participated in the programme.
On the occasion, various cultural programmes were held to depict their rights and obligations. Various speakers spoke at the event and threw light on the rights of these persons.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest called for better programs and policies to ensure equal opportunities for the differently abled. He said that most of them experience social denial and rejection and stressed upon them to identify their rights and oriented legislations meant to empower them. Moreover, he emphasized to raise awareness and educate different sections of the society for the same.
Secretary DLSA Faizan ul Haq Iqbal, who was the guest of honor at the event said that education and self-reliance is one of the most daunting tasks for people with learning disabilities. He said that special education for the specially-abled ones is the only tool for their empowerment besides presenting a detailed account of various oriented legislations and measures.
Later, prizes were distributed among the students for their felicitation who performed in several programmes.
AT SHOPIAN, a function was organized at Town Hall Shopian which witnessed overwhelming participation of physically disabled persons, senior citizens, school children, media persons and all officials of Social Welfare Department.
Speakers held detailed deliberations on theme of the day ‘Empowering persons with disabilities: ensuring inclusiveness and equality’.
ADDC Mohammad Salim Malik while referring to the theme of the day assured that priority shall be given to the specially-abled people under various developmental schemes.
Speaking on the occasion, the DSWO Shopian Mohammad Shafait added that the department is providing monthly pension of Rs 1000/month to 3100 specially-abled persons involving annual expenditure of Rs 3. 72 Cr.
“107 motorisedtricycles, 41 hearing aids, 12 crutches, 5-wheel chairs, 2 walking sticks have been provided to DAPs in last two years,” he further added.
During the function, 3 motorised tricycles and 9 hearing aids were distributed among identified physically disabled persons. A handicapped student of MFI Pinjoora was also felicitated during the function. (GNS)