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May 12, 2019

‘Change approach towards special people’


May 12, 2019

Islamabad : Speakers stressed the need to change approach towards persons with disability (PWDs) from charity to rights by treating them as equal citizens.

They were speaking at a discussion held to launch the policy brief titled ‘Empowerment of Persons Living with Disabilities: Democratic, Rights-Based and Inclusive Legislation’, which is a review of the recently-tabled ‘The Act Right of Persons with Disability Bill, 2018.’ The discussion was organized by Potohar Mental Health Association (PMHA) with the support of Federation Handicap International.

The speakers highlighted the fact that there is a tendency in Pakistan to approach the persons living with disabilities from charity angle. “People sympathize with them, and donate charity, and that’s it. What is required is to move beyond this behavior by treating persons living with disabilities as equal citizens,” said Secretary General Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Farhatullah Babar.

He said that this can only be made possible if the proposed legislation on persons living with disabilities adopt a rights-based approach in its working.

He said that the definition of “disability” needs to be updated, in line with the UNCRPD, which states effective participation of persons living with disabilities on an equal basis with others. Furthermore, he said, it should be marked that no one has the right to make or pass judgment on a person's disability or its extent and on that basis, exclude them from resources and services.

Chief Executive Potohar Mental Health Association (PMHA) Zulqurnain Asghar said that in order to mitigate a variety of barriers, there is a need for categorisation and to identify what facilitation is important for different types of disabilities.

The brief demanded creating an autonomous commission comprising three people under the ACt instead of the proposed council which includes government functionaries.

It calls for representation for transgender and minorities living with disabilities. The policy brief also called for increased political will in mainstreaming persons living with disabilities by making them part of party decision making bodies and nominating them to the national, provincial assemblies and local bodies.

Programme Head Federation Handicap International Waheed Shah emphasized that the outdated legislation on persons living with disabilities in Pakistan employs the charity and medical model in its definition, which is also still reflective in the attitudes, mindsets and behaviour of society.

The speakers called for a comprehensive legislation aligned with UNCRPD and SDGs. They said that it is heartening that The Act Right of Persons with Disability Bill, 2018 has been proposed yet they noted the bill is too generic, without any specifics in it.

APP adds: Islamabad Market Committee on Saturday issued price list of vegetables and fruits in the markets of Federal Capital.

According to a spokesman, the rate list of vegetables in Islamabad except for Jinnah Super, Super and Kohsar markets are as follows: potato Rs22/24 per kg, onion Rs51/55, tomato Rs36/40, ginger Rs190/200, garlic (desi) Rs122/129, garlic (China) Rs205/220, lemon Rs225/240, lady finger Rs62/69, pumpkin Rs46/53, brinjal Rs22/28, peas Rs92/98, farsh bean Rs77/82, tenda (walaiti) Rs30/34, cucumber Rs12/15, capsicum Rs30/34, green chilli Rs28/33, cauliflower Rs52/56, cabbage Rs52/56, bitter gourd Rs49/54, green zucchini Rs40/44, spinach Rs15/18, maroo Rs16/20, radish Rs12/15, yam Rs70/76, carrot (China) Rs25/29, chicken Rs155 and eggs 75 per dozen.

Likewise, he said that rates of fruit per kilogram of high and medium quality in Islamabad are as follows: apple kala kilo Irani Rs200/220, apple golden Rs145/155, apple (white) Rs100/108, apple (ambri) Rs100/110, banana Pak Rs120/130, guava Rs92/104, louqat Rs75/84, strawberry Rs94/100, water melon Rs28/31, white melon Rs60/66, yellow water melon Rs59/65, dates Pakistan Rs133/155, dates Irani Rs205/218, cherry Rs330/345, mango Sindri Rs170/185 and mango Langra Rs88/99.

The spokesman has asked all the people to follow this list and inform the authorities at 051-4867762; 051-9108084 in case of any complaint against the shopkeepers.

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