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January 7, 2020

Youth maimed in blast sets up welfare body for special persons


January 7, 2020

Syed Bukhar Shah

PESHAWAR: A bomb attack maimed Irfanullah Jan but it could not shake his courage and he even became more determined by setting up an organisation for the welfare of the persons with disabilities.

The Fata Disabled Welfare Organisation (FDWO), established by Jan, is providing artificial limbs to survivors of bomb blasts and also taking steps to admit survivors’ children in educational institutions of the Pakistan Army.

FDWO Chairman Irfanullah Jan lost both legs in a bomb blast in Sadda Bazaar of Kurram Agency (now a tribal district part of KP district) on July 25, 2011. Talking to The News, Jan said that instead of leading the life of a disabled man, he decided to continue his education.

He recalled that he was a student of class-IV in a primary school when he was maimed for life, and now he is a student of FA in Islamia College Peshawar. Since there were bomb blasts and lawlessness everywhere in the province and children were equally affected like those of the elderly men and women, Jan said that he established an organisation in 2014 to provide free education, treatment and other opportunities to survivors of terrorism so that they could get a respectable job for their livelihood.

Later, he established FDWO in 2016 in the former Fata region and launched practical work for the welfare of affected people after registering his organisation with the social welfare department. The young rights activist said that his organisation has enrolled affected children in various schools and provided wheelchairs to terrorism-affected people besides fixing artificial hands and legs to them.

Appreciating the former corps commander Peshawar, and 11 Corps Headquarters for support, he said that Lt General Shaheen Mazhar Mehmud announced 10 percent quota to provide free education to affected children in the army public schools. With the assistance of the army, he said his organisation has fixed artificial limbs to 60 disabled persons so far. And the process of providing free education and artificial limbs continues, he said.

He said that for the first time, a centre was established to install artificial legs to the affected people in South Waziristan, which would start functioning within the next few months. Such centres for the affected people, he said, would be established in all the former tribal districts. Similarly, he said they had established a camp to provide artificial hands to survivors.

He said their data and details had been collected but the real numbers of the disabled persons in the erstwhile tribal areas were much more than those of their obtained data and proper arrangements have been made to include those who have not been counted in the camp.

The young man claimed that the total number of the persons with disabilities in the former tribal areas was more than 15,000 and his organisation was trying to establish a skill centre in every tribal district to make them useful citizens and enable them to earn a respectable earning for their families. Irfanullah Jan observed that his organisation has enrolled various students from South Waziristan in educational institutions.

He said many students had abandoned education and thought they were disabled and cannot continue education in the deteriorating law and order situation but they were enrolled in the FG and army schools and colleges on 10 percent quota. He recalled that with the assistance of 11 Corps Headquarters, and Pakistan Institute of Prosthetic and Orthopaedic Sciences (PIPOS) and FDWO examined 168 persons in South Waziristan and 69 persons were measured for providing them with artificial legs. “Wheelchairs and crutches were also distributed,” he said.

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