White cane safety day: Govt urged to implement job quota for special persons

October 12, 2014 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: Holding a white cane, Muhammad Hussain, a visually impaired man, representing Pakistan of the Blind (PAB) District Central, enlightened its importance on forthcoming observance of ‘White Cane Safety Day’ –observed every year on October 15 – while sitting along with other sightless helpmates.

Addressing a joint press conference on Monday at Karachi Press Club (KPC), Hussain urged implementation of quota for blind persons in government departments and legislation.

While paying rich tributes to Dr. Fatima Shah, he said that it was her efforts which compelled General Zia-ul-Haq government to approve 1 percent quota for disable persons in government departments and special education department was inaugurated. Adding that the quota was raised to 2 percent by democratic governments and later even to 5 percent. However, the policies and bills were never implemented on ground and the seat of special person in Sindh assembly was still vacant, he said.

Terming the white stick as symbol of blindness, he acquainted media persons with its appropriate role in the society and said that the stick was not only a mobility tool but also a symbol of blindness, adding, it alerts nearby people to become cautious particularly drivers.

Meanwhile, he praised Balochistan government’s initiative regarding conditions that every applicant acquiring driving license should have fully understanding of white cane and urged Sindh government to impose similar conditions.

On the occasion, President PAB Sindh chapter, Riaz Memon said that the disable persons have no representation in the assemblies, adding, according to World Health Organization (WHO) 10 percent of world population comprised by blind persons.

“Under light of WHO estimations, the 10 percent of population in Pakistan is deprived of their fundamental rights and have no representation in legislation,” he added.

He accused political parties of appointing incompatible people on quota of disable persons and said that teachers, having no knowledge of Braille, were appointed on political affiliations in 12 special schools of interior Sindh.

“It is a tragedy that we have no printing press for Braille books,” he added.

He made appeals to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to consider the problems being faced by disable persons and said that it is the state responsibility to facilitate and provide all basic rights to all citizens.

Meanwhile, computer expert and teacher of PAB Muhammad Shakeel informed media persons about first online talking-library for blind persons where several kinds of books including autobiographies, novels, religious and course books are available.

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