National Special Talent Exhibition of Persons with Disabilities
( Disability- Different life style)
December 3rd 2007
SPECIAL TALENT EXCHANGE PROGRAM
A Cross Disability Organization
353-C, Street 30, G-6/2- Islamabad
It was a dream to assemble all major disability stakeholders at one place with an objective to share experiences and challenges through showcasing their efforts for the dignified life of Persons with Disabilities living in marginalized economic circumstances and to include them in the mainstream. Realization of the dream was not possible with out vigorous struggle of STEP team, dynamic volunteers and all those organizations that came forward to support financially and technically.
We acknowledge the contribution of these organizations for strengthening the disability movement in Pakistan and particularly ignition the series of talent exhibitions in the country, through supporting this 2nd National Talent Exhibition & Seminar â€œDecent Work for Persons with Disabilitiesâ€ Islamabad:
It was organized with collaboration ofâ€¦
ï‚§ Handicap International
ï‚§ Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA)
ï‚§ National Institute for Handicapped (NIHd)
ï‚§ Sightsavers International (SSI)
ï‚§ Helping Hand
ï‚§ Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF)
Special Talent exhibition was organized to promote the talent of Persons with Disabilities and to bridge the communication gap between haves and haves not. Talent exhibitions have been a tradition of STEP. We have been organizing these exhibitions since year 2000 and until year 2006 more than 3000 PWDs have been somehow associated with these talent expositions.
In addition to significant to the exhibition, a seminar was organized with a theme â€œDecent work for Persons with Disabilitiesâ€. It is the contribution of individuals, organizations, government and PWDs themselves towards the development in disability movement. Every organization worked a lot on its level in the empowerment of PWDs. Every organization started to work at grassroots level with great zeal and dedication for same objectives, â€œEqual Rights for Persons with Disabilitiesâ€. Disability leaders who contributed their personal efforts and sacrificed for the sustainability of disability movement till the end of their lives like Dr. Salma Maqbool (Late, PFFB), Ms.Neham Rehman (Milestone), Mr. Shafique Abbassi (STEP), these peopleâ€™s efforts can not be forgotten in the history of disability movement.
Need for Self-Help Initiatives of Persons with Disabilities
Disabled people face a multitude of barriers that limited their access to Education, Employment, housing transportation, health care, rehabilitation and recreation. Disabled people are among the poorest of the poor. According to World Bank estimates, one in five of the worldâ€™s poorest people are disabled, and many of them live in low and middle-income groups. Lack of information about the opportunities and services available for persons with disabilities within the country and in rest of the world has forced them to be confined in their houses. On the other hand due to inadequate awareness in the society person with disabilities are not being accepted as useful human resources in the economic in the economic development.
The event was aimed to promote the efforts of Persons with Disabilities for their rights and contribution of all those organizations that have supported the disability movement in Pakistan at the same time it was an opportunity to rejoice one day of life for all.
It was attended by approximately one thousand Persons with Disabilities where all disability holders exhibit their products and services in 40 stalls including famous food courts, handicraft of Pakistan, Assistive devices and entertainers. Through mass media advertisements and pre-issued passes more than 3000 thousand people visited the event, at the same time it was an opportunity to enjoy the life for those people who have never ventured out in their lives due their disability and environmental barriers.
The ongoing struggle by people with disabilities to gain full citizenship is an important part of our Pakistani society. The disability rights movement shares many similarities with other civil rights struggles by those who have been denied equality, independence, autonomy, and full access to society.
Methodology and Implementation
Leading Persons with Disabilities of STEP having trainings from Japan and Thailand in the fields of Independent Living, Information and Communication Technology and Leadership were including the organizing committee who met regularly to finalize the program, participants list, and other arrangements. First meeting held on 24th September 2007, at Damn-e-Koh accessible sit out, and discussed our idea with a group of volunteers from different universities who were willing to contribute their time.
During the entire preparation representatives of STEP had meeting with Government departments, International NGOs, NGOs, Disabled Peoplesâ€™ Organizations (DPOs), business concerns and Multinational companies to get them involved in this unique activity and to sensitize them about the significance of inclusion of disabled persons in their system.
Collaboration with Government, NGOs, INGOs & DPOs
It was a great trial to organize a joint venture under with collaboration of government, NGOs, INGOs, DPOs and all disability stakeholders. Handicap International is the first organization which not only provided its services but also contacted and motivated government bodies and other organizations to organize a joint event. First meeting was held at Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA)â€™s office where all organizations including ERRA, Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP), Handicap International, Milestone, Helping Hand , Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), decided to organize a Seminar, Exhibition and Walk on December 3rd (International Day of Disabled Persons) 2007 under a same theme â€œA voice of our ownâ€ at National Institute for Handicapped NIHd Islamabad.
Summary of the Activity
ï¶ 110 out of city participants and exhibitor arrived on the evening at Youth Hostel Islamabad on 2nd December.
ï¶ Exhibition & Seminar was inaugurated by Lt General Nadeem Ahmed, Deputy Chairman ERRA.
ï¶ Attended by approximately one thousand Persons with Disabilities from all over the country.
ï¶ Launch of UN Convention for the rights of Persons with Disabilities in Urdu translation by STEP. Pakistan is one of few countries who translated the convention in their native language.
ï¶ Twenty shields were distributed on behalf of organizations and PWDs individually for their extra ordinary efforts in disability movement.
ï¶ Disability stakeholders and commercial organizations exhibit their products and services in 45 stalls including famous food courts, handicraft of Pakistan, assistive devices and entertainers.
ï¶ Peaceful walk, for the rights of PWDs was conducted and participated by Disability Stakeholders, DPOs and Persons with disabilities themselves.
ï¶ 40 modern design wheel chairs, crutches other assistive devices were distributed among most deserving Persons with Disabilities.
ï¶ Full coverage and live transmission for electronic & print media.
ï¶ Dignitaries, Diplomats and Celebrities visited the festival in different timings and interacted with the exhibitors.
ï¶ Memorable musical evening by Basit Subhani, Gul and Usman (famous national singers). They made the evening classic for the PWDs by their beautiful songs.