ISLAMABAD, Jan 8 (APP):President Dr Arif Alvi Wednesday said the disabled persons were equally important and valuable part of the society, and their rights must be ensured in all spheres of life with special emphasis on accessibility and education.

He expressed these views while chairing a presentation on the “Role of Civil Society in Addressing Disability under the Ehsaas Programme” here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Special Assistant to the PM on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, Member of the National Assembly Kishwar Zara, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal Managing Director Aon Abbas Buppi, and representatives of World Health Organization (WHO), non-governmental organizations and civil society were present on the occasion.

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Speaking on the occasion, the president said the differently-abled people deserved their special attention as they faced many hardships, not all of them as a result of their disability.

He said the government under the Ehsaas Programme was making all-out efforts to ensure their rights and provide them all kinds of facilities.

He emphasized that collective efforts from all segments of society in synergy with the government were required to mainstream them in the society as well as in social, economic and political decision making.

President Alvi underlined that there was a need to focus on the education of disabled persons in regular schools without any extra charges.

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He added that accessibility to different places was the major issue of disabled persons, thus they as a society must work collectively to make all public places easily accessible to them.

He stated they would have to create meaningful employment opportunities for the special persons so that they could play a constructive role in the development of the country.

The president underscored that public awareness regarding disability was of pivotal importance in ensuring the rights of disabled persons. The media should also add the content regarding disabilities in their programmes for the awareness of masses, he added.