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June 12, 2018

Hand-operated rickshaws distributed among disabled persons


June 12, 2018

Five disabled, wheelchair-bound people who had lost the use of their lower extremities were presented with hand-operated rickshaws so that they may be able to earn a living.

The rickshaws were presented at a ceremony at the offices of the NOWPDP (Network of Organisations working for People with Disabilities-Pakistan) on Monday morning. These rickshaws are operated by totally hand, and the use of the feet for braking has been eliminated as these vehicles are for people who have lost the use of their bodies waist-down.

The rickshaws have been designed by Imran Ghanchi, a disabled employee of the organisation, and manufactured by a Lahore-based company, Stalco. Ghanchi’s disability stems from polio that he suffered years ago. However, despite the crippling drawback, he radiates optimism and hasn’t allowed the disability to get him down in any way.

He has used this disadvantage to the benefit of so many others like him and says that his project is meant to save the disabled from joining the ranks of beggars. He himself is wheelchair-bound. He said that these vehicles would sell at the same price as the normal ones and would save the disabled around Rs50,000 in retrofit charges.

Briefing media persons, Amin Amir Andani, external engagement manager of NOWPDP, traced the history of the organisation and said that it emerged as a result of research by the Aga Khan Council and completed a decade of its existence in May 2018.

Giving an account of the yeoman’s service rendered the disabled, he said that the organisation had arranged job placements of people who had really crippling disabilities with reputed organisations like Engro and Khaadi. He said that 15 disabled persons had been fixed in jobs at Shell petrol pumps.

Amin Hashwani, president, NOWPDP, in his speech, pointed out the lack of attention being paid to the disability sector. “We want to change perceptions and make it clear that mere charity is no solution to the crisis posed by the disabled population,” he said.

Ronak Lakhani, vice-chairperson of the organsiation, said, “We needn’t wait for the government to come forward and take the initiative. We hope to see lots of such rickshaws on the roads soon.”

Muhammad Omar Khan, head of sales, Tripack Films, Ltd, an organisation actively cooperating with NOWPDP, said: “It is incumbent on us to provide for the disadvantaged.” Omair Ahmad, director, NOWPDP, gave an overview of the organisation and dwelt on the obligation of the more fortunate members of society to care for their disadvantaged brothers and sisters. The rickshaws given out to the disabled persons have been exquisitely decorated.

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