Press Release issued by Sightsavers
ISLAMABAD (Dec 3, 2021): As a major development towards recognizing the rights and needs of people with disabilities (PWDs), the National Assembly premises for the first time in Pakistan has been made fully disability-friendly in order to provide maximum facilities to the PWDs.
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser disclosed this at a ceremony held at the National Assembly building arranged in collaboration with the Sightsavers Pakistan as part of the joint initiative to make the Assembly building an inclusive and disability-friendly place for the people with disabilities (PWDs).
Country Director Sightsavers Pakistan, Munazza Gillani, senior officials of the National Assembly Secretariat, civil society and sizeable number of PWDs were present at the occasion.
Giving details of this initiative, Speaker Asad Qaiser also announced that National Assembly for the first time has got Braille copy of the Constitution of Pakistan that would provide the visually impaired people with an opportunity to access Constitution of the country and benefit from the supreme law of the land.
“We have received the Braille copy of Pakistan’s Constitution from Sightsavers Pakistan, which is a great accomplishment and reflects this organization’s efforts being made for the less fortune segment of the society,” he said.
He also disclosed that special washroom facility has been made available in the Assembly premises for the PWDs, which is a major step towards realizing their basic needs in routine life.
Asad Qaiser disclosed that the National Assembly is an ardent advocate of the rights of the people with disabilities. “The NA Secretariat is already undertaking efforts to launch the Braille version of its website to ensure digital space for all and provision of the Braille copy of the Constitution would be a great value addition to the cause,” he said.
He explained that non-provision of facilities to the PWDs in these premises was a serious issue, however, with the joint efforts with Sightsavers we have now successfully make this building into disability-friendly.
All these achievements have been successfully made under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the National Assembly and Sightsavers.
In her remarks at the occasion, Country Director Sightsavers, Munazza Gillani, gave an overview of the issues the PWDs are confronting in the country especially in getting their due rights and employment opportunities to have a dignified life.
She said that provision of all these facilities at the Assembly building is part of the Sightsavers’ national initiative to mobilize efforts for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), the principle of ‘Leaving No One Behind’ and on building back better and more inclusive with regards to Covid-19.
For this purpose, she explained, their organization is also mobilizing efforts to push for Pakistan’s effective participation in the second Global Disability Summit being held in Oslo, Norway, from February 15-17, 2022 (GDS22). The summit will stimulate efforts for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the principle of ‘Leaving No One Behind’ and on building back better and more inclusive with regards to Covid-19.
Sightsavers, a UK based international organization working for creating equal opportunities for persons with disabilities in 33 countries and working in Pakistan since 1985.