Sunday October 24, 2021

Visually-impaired persons continue protest for jobs in Lahore

November 12, 2019

LAHORE: Visually impaired persons are sitting on The Mall next to Governor House, blocking the road for eight days now. It is for the longest period in the country’s history that the visually impaired are on road. They demand jobs from the government when around 8,000 seats for the disabled are lying vacant in the public sector in Punjab alone.

They want to be heard. There can be a way out for them. The government should talk to them. “Government can give them stipend which they can return once they get a job. This is a practice in the West,” suggests Muhammad Usman, Focal Person for the Visually Impaired Persons, Faisalabad Division who is also Mentor Social Needs Officer in Jhang.

“In Turkey, the government has seats for all disabled. There is three percent quota for the disabled. Divide them among different disabled,” he suggests. “There are people who have got jobs meant for disabled, using their influence when they are not disabled. There are proofs. The government must look into this injustice as well,” he requested.

Social Welfare Department should create jobs for them. Once a month meeting is possible but the present government has not held any meeting with the blind which has created great unrest among them. Blinds, too, are citizens of this country. They have defied the much dreaded smog and stayed on road. The government must hold a dialogue with them, there is a consensus among rights activists. The protest on the main artery of the city is causing traffic jam on Davis Road in particular which has become a nuisance. Actually, the protest started a month back. The visually impaired have been staying at a shelter home before coming again on roads.