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Thursday February 02, 2023

Pakistan’s disabled

December 03, 2022

About 15% of the world’s population lives with some kind of disability, and over the last few decades several countries have worked tirelessly to make things more accessible for people with disabilities. In Pakistan, however, accessibility for the disabled still remains a distant dream. While certain multi-national organizations have now become much more mindful of optimizing their design structures to facilitate the disabled, the vast majority remains unbothered.

According to a report published by British Council, 72% of Persons with Disabilities reported inaccessibility as a major barrier to access education, training and employment. People with disabilities found it exceptionally hard to maneuver through basic tasks like a quick run to the market or something as simple as just withdrawing cash from an ATM. While I appreciate Bank Alfalah’s decision to open a branch fully equipped for the disabled, with an ATM and counters that are suitable for wheel-chair bound customers and staff that is facilitative, it would be great to see other banks following this example and making everyday tasks easier and more accessible for people with disabilities. They too have a right to be included, valued and empowered.

Mehdi Bilgrami

Karachi

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