Pakistan On-line Job Board Assists Disabled Employees in Finding Jobs

Posted on 1 June 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Employment, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Workers with disabilities in Pakistan now have a new on-line resource that may help in finding jobs.

In a collaborative effort, BrightSpyre and STEP (Special Talent Exchange Program) have launched an on-line job board that lists jobs with employers seeking to hire disabled workers. STEP is a cross-disability organization in Pakistan that is run by people with disabilities themselves. BrightSpyre is Pakistan’s first and largest on-line job board. The new job board targeted at disabled workers is at:

Also, the company Telenor Pakistan actively encourages people with disabilities to apply with them for jobs or internship opportunities. Their career web page is at

Thank you to STEP Pakistan for alerting We Can Do (and other entities) to the new job board for workers with disabilities in Pakistan. Job seekers should please follow the various links provided above in order to pursue relevant opportunities.

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Pakistan Art Competition for Children With Disabilities

Posted on 15 February 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Arts, Call for Audio & Visual Materials, Children, Events and Conferences, Opportunities, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities in Pakistan (NOWPDP) is sponsoring a national art competition for children with disabilities aged 12 to 16. The age limit is waived for participants with mental disabilities. All member and non-member schools are invited to participate. The competition will be held on the 1st of March 2009 in Karachi; and at a slightly later date in Lahore & Islamabad. However, names of children to compete should be submitted by February 19, 2009.

For further details about the competition, along with instructions for how to participate, please visit the NOWPDP web site at:

I learned about this competition via Ghulam Nabi Nizamani. All people who wish to make inquiries should please inquire directly with NOWPDP, according to the instructions on their web site, NOT with We Can Do. Thank you.

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REPORT: Disability in 28 Asian-Pacific Countries

Posted on 28 January 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Policy & Legislation, Reports, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (2003-2012) was meant to promote a rights-based approach toward disability in the Asian-Pacific Region, in place of the older welfare-based approach. The “Biwako Millennium Framework for Action towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific (BMF)” was meant to provide countries in the Asian region with a set of principles to help them make the shift. How well has it succeeded?

In 2004, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), a part of the United Nations system, conducted a survey to find out. The result is an 87-page publication entitled “Disability At a Glance: Profile of 28 Countries in Asia and the Pacific” (PDF format, 780 Kb), released in 2006. It is meant to provide disability-related data and policy information so that readers can compare definitions of disability; statistics; the implementation of the Biwako framework; and government commitments to disability issues across the Asian-Pacific region. The countries and regions covered in the publication include: China; Hong Kong; Japan; Mongolia; Republic of Korea; Cambodia; Indonesia; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Philippines; Singapore; Thailand; Timor Leste; Vietnam; Afghanistan; Bangaldesh; Bhutan; India; Maldives; Nepal; Pakistan; Kazakhstan; Pacific Australia; Cook Islands; Fiji; Kiribati; and Solomon Islands.

Each country is represented with a one- or two-page table filled in with relevant statistics and one-paragraph summaries of disability-related legislation and policies in the country. This publication is not the place to seek out in-depth information about the complexities and nuances of daily life for people with disabilities in the Asian-Pacific region. But then, it is not meant to be. It’s strength is that it allows quick and easy comparison of certain specific types of information across many countries within the region. Or, people who wish to gain a broad sense of disability demographics, policies, and inclusion in the Asian-Pacific region as a whole will wish to read the section sub-headed “Key Findings,” starting near the bottom of page 9.

Download the full report (PDF format, 780 Kb) at

People interested in reading reports about disability in the Asian-Pacific region will also want to browse the Social Policy Papers on disability listed on the ESCAP web page at Two examples of additional reports and publications include Focus on Ability, Celebrate Diversity: Highlights of the Asian and Pacific Decade published in 2003, following the 1993 to 2002 decade; and Hidden Sisters: Women and Girls with Disabilities in the Asian-Pacific Region, 1995.

People also may wish to read the original Biwako framework on-line, or read the 2007 “Biwako Plus Five” update on progress since the Biwako framework was written.

I learned about this publication through the AsiaPacificDisability listserver, which people can subscribe to for free.

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Forum of Women with Disabilities in Pakistan

Posted on 19 January 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Inclusion, Networking Opportunities, Opportunities, South Asian Region, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Pakistan Disabled People’s Organization

Subject: Forum of Women with Disabilities in Pakistan

Respected All,

Greetings from Pakistan Disabled Peoples’ Organization (PDPO/DPI – Pakistan),

The issue of disability is gaining more and more importance all over the world as well as in Pakistan due the disability movement for a “rights based society” initiated by organizations of PWDs themselves since almost two decades. World Bank, World Health Organization and other donor and development agencies have included this issue in their mandates. Governments have framed various policies for PWDs including reservation of jobs, concession facilities in travelling, special training institutions etc. The Government of Pakistan has made efforts to support the rights of Persons with Disabilities in the view of BMF and National Policy on disability and now Alhamdurillah Pakistan has signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

However, despite these efforts, the sad fact is that most people with disabilities especially women with disabilities and their families remain completely un-served by government, NGOs and even DPOs.

Women with disabilities are disadvantaged in several key areas when compared with other women, men with disabilities, and the society as a whole. These women face a triple handicap and discrimination due to their disability, gender and developing world status. At the same time, Stigma remains in society at large, within communities, and even, in many cases of uneducated segments of society, within families who see disabled women as a loss of productive potential and a drain on family resources. So, while on the one hand, the strong cultural family network ensures their financial security, on the other, the stigma often results in their remaining invisible members of society.

The major barrier to employment and other socio-economic benefits for Women with Disabilities in our society continues to be attitudinal barriers; stereotypical thinking and assumption about what women with disabilities can and can’t do.

The truth is that, the range of abilities of persons within any disabilities group is enormous, we have a large number of women with disabilities in Pakistan who are taking part in the activities of daily life with courage, there is dire need to involve that women as a role model or highlight their efforts to understand the social and economic realities and possibilities with regards to disability.

We need to get rid of our stereotypical images and view each “individual” as just that “an individual”. Access to and sharing of information resources can build the capacity of local and national disability organizations, promote advocacy by and for people with disability and improve the quality of life experienced by women with disabilities.

The fist humble step of this forum is to bridge the information and communication gap between all the leading women with disabilities in Pakistan.

On behalf of PDPO/DPI – Pakistan, I would like to request you all to share your short profile with us by the end of this week, after the completion of selection process of forum members, we will decide the date for Coordination Meeting.

Your feedback and coordination will assist us to make it successful

Looking forward to hear from you,


Abia Akram,
Women Coordinator – PDPO/DPI, Pakistan

This email from Abia Akram came to me via Ghulam Nabi Nizamani. People or organizations who wish to network with the Forum of Women with Disabilities in Pakistan should communicate directly with Abia Akram, NOT We Can Do.

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Disability in Non-Western Societies: A Bibliography of Bibliographies

Posted on 18 January 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Disability Studies, East Asia Pacific Region, Education, Middle East and North Africa, Poverty, Resources, signed languages, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Researchers who need to locate journal articles and other publications about people with disabilities throughout history in developing countries face significant barriers. People with disabilities outside of North America and Europe tend to be invisible in much of the published literature and throughout history.

Researchers can consult a list of annotated bibliographies at the Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE) as a starting point in seeking out thousands of articles that may meet their needs.

These bibliographies do not directly link to the articles in question. In many cases, I suspect these articles may not exist on-line. But the bibliographies could be used to help researchers know what publications they should seek out through the inter-library loan program at their university library.

A few examples of annotated bibliographies include: Disability in the Middle East; Disability and Social Responses in Some Southern African Nations; Disability and Social Response in Afghanistan and Pakistan; Disability & Deafness in North East Africa; Disability and Deafness in East Asia: Social and Educational Responses, from Antiquity to Recent Times; Sign, Gesture, and Deafness in South Asia and South-West Asian Histories; Social Responses to Disability & Poverty in Economically Weaker Countries: Research, Trends, Critique, and Lessons Usually Not Learnt; and more.

Researchers may begin exploring the various bibliographies (by author M. Miles) at

I found the page listing M. Miles’ various bibliographies by browsing the CIRRIE web site.

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NEWS: Wheelchair Distribution Ceremony Held in Pakistan

Posted on 6 November 2008. Filed under: Assistive Devices, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Iftar Party, Eid Dresses & Wheelchair Distribution Ceremony
Dated: 21st September, 2008
at ARCP Korangi Centre

Chairperson ‘Mashal’, Mrs. Rizwana Khan Sponsored with the coordination of Association for the Rehabilitation of Challenged People (ARCP) arranged an Iftar-Dinner Party at its Korangi setup on 21st Sep, 2008. The Iftar party was supervised by Qaseem, Incharge ARCP, Landhi and Nadeem, Incharge ARCP Korangi. M. Mobin Uddin, President ARCP/ Chief Editor Estanara and other officials of ARCP were also present. They were welcoming the guests, who were invited at the Iftar party. Guests came well before Iftar. ARCP has arranged Iftar and dinner for its respectable guests. This Iftar-dinner party was for the cause to distribute ‘Wheel Chairs’ and the ‘Dresses’ among the needy.

ARCP has collected data from disabled people, who were desperate to buy a wheel chair but could not. Wheel Chairs are expensive items and are unfortunately out of reach for many disabled individual. Mrs. Rizwana, Chairperson Mashal arrange money for Zakat Fund for her personal efforts to purchases ‘Wheelchairs and Eid Dresses’ for needy and PWDs.. ‘ARCP’ support ‘Mashal’ for the purchasing of wheel chairs and Eid Dresses. ARCP also arranged specific alteration in wheel chairs according to the specific needs of the disabled people. So, disabled people will be fully facilitated and mobilized after getting specially altered Wheel Chair and also fancy Eid Dresses.

Brief programme was also scheduled before ‘Iftar’. Abdullah, a member of ARCP, recited Ayats from Holy Quran Azeem, joint secretary ARCP, recited Hamd. Attique, member ARCP, recited ‘Naat’. Audience appreciated the participants by reciting ‘Subhan-allah’ loudly. Special Prayers offered for the improvement in the health of Rizwan (Brother of Mrs. Rizwana Khan) prayers wre also offered for the prosperity and the well being of the whole family. Every one was in great spirits. One participant from Sanghar, Mashooq Ali , General Secretary ‘ASHA’ told the audience, the recent improvements and the future planning needed for the disabled community in Sanghar. He also thanked the president ARCP for inviting him in the ‘Iftar-Dinner programme’ and for the 20 Eid Dress parcels for distribution in Sanghar (Sindh) among Person with Disability.

There were two chief guests. Rehan, Additional Secretary to City Nazim and Anil, Senior TV artiste and Producer, both came on time. Rehen was invited to distribute the ‘Wheel Chairs’ among the needy guests.

Rehan made a short speech. He applauded the high efforts of ‘Mashal’ & ‘ARCP’ and expressed his happiness to be with such live and courageous people. He thanked Mobin, president ARCP and all those who provided assistance to ARCP in distribution of ‘Wheel Chairs’ and ‘Eid Dresses’. He said such real efforts are hardly seen and ARCP and other NGOs should continue their struggle with the same spirit and enthusiasm. He also assured that govt. will also lend its support in its capacity in future.

Anil was invited at the stage to distribute dresses among the participants. Participants were happy to get the dresses for ‘Eid’. Anil also appreciated the participants and audience for their patience and perseverance to survive in harsh circumstances in countries like Pakistan . He also thanked ARCP for honoring him to be the chief guest. He also said that he feels great satisfaction to be with such real people.

After this, ‘Iftar’ time was near. At Maghrib Iftar was served. Rehan and Anil remained there among the participants and had ‘Iftar’ with them. There was an arrangement for Namaz and almost all the participants offered Maghrib Prayers. It was very spiritual to see so many disabled and normal people offering prayers together. This was one another example of assimilation of disabled people in the society. Such mixed arrangements for ‘Namaz’ must be frequent as they also help disabled persons to socialize. After Namaz, dinner was served and people had enjoyed the dinner in friendly environment. After dinner every one took leave as many participants have to offer ‘Tarawih’ Prayers. Then the ‘Iftar-Dinner’ was over in its traditional manner.


M. Mobin Uddin,
President, DPI-Pakistan
President, ARCP
Chief Editor, Estanara Magazine,
Contact: +92-21-4134905, +92-21-4128867, +92-300-2613317

This report by M. Mobin Uddin was circulated via Ghulam Nabi Nizamani’s email list.

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Report from Seminar on Disaster Risk Reduction for Deaf People, Persons with Disabilities

Posted on 30 September 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Deaf, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , |

Deaf people, and people with disabilities, are often at high risk during natural disasters and other large-scale emergencies. A seminar on disaster risk reduction for people with disabilities was held in Pakistan last July 2008. A summary of the lectures and presentations are available on-line at:

Among other things, people may read a summary of a lecture describing a curriculum and teaching strategies used to teach deaf students how to protect their safety during disasters. Also included are bullet points from a speech that makes recommendations for the importance of including people with disabilities generally in all stages of disaster prevention and preparation.

We Can Do learned about this conference report via an email circulated by Ghulam Nabi Nizamani, who was one of the presenters at this conference.

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Report on Seminar on Challenges and Hopes of Deaf and Hard of Hearing People

Posted on 15 September 2008. Filed under: Capacity Building and Leadership, Deaf, Events and Conferences, Inclusion, News, technology | Tags: , , , , , , |

In late August, a seminar was held in Pakistan entitled “Challenges and Hopes: Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in the 21st century,” sponsored by Danishkadah, an organization for the empowerment of leaders with disabilities.

Lectures were delivered on topics such as cochlear implants; sign language; removing barriers from the environment; assistive technology in education; information technology in developing countries; and others.

The Danishkadah web site has a report summarizing the highlights of what speakers said at:

We Can Do learned about this seminar report via an email from Ghulam Nabi Nizamani.

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NEWS: Women with Disabilities in Pakistan Hold Empowerment Seminar

Posted on 20 August 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, News, South Asian Region, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for circulating the following report.

Seminar on empowerment of women with disabilities, Karachi – Pakistan
Held on 2nd August 2008.

A joint seminar organized by Social Welfare Department Government of Sindh and Association of Physically Handicapped Adults (APHA) member organization of Sindh Disability Forum (SDF) and Pakistan Disabled Peoples’ Organization (PDPO) DPI Pakistan.

Centuries ago, as you all know, in most societies of the world women occupied a secondary position to their male counterparts. It was a common feature that women got very little opportunity to voice their opinion even in matters, which concerned their own lives. They were considered to have no opinions of their own but merely adhere to the decisions made first by their fathers, then their husbands and at a later stage of their lives by their sons. But society has progressed from the discriminating attitude towards women. This is not to say that even today women stand equal with men. Discrimination against women persists even till date, the only change being that in some situations take place at a more subtle level.

Women’s movements have been instrumental in bringing about this change. These movements attempt to empower and equip women to fight for equality and stand equal with men.

But this is not the case when we turn our attention to women with disabilities. The mainstream women’s movements have remained completely oblivious to the needs of this group. The disability movements too have not paid much attention to the particular needs of disabled women. Hence these women remain at the periphery of all rights movements. Being a neglected segment they lack in self-esteem and self-confidence. They are conceived as not having part to play in society they are role-less people. Thus arises the imperative need to develop the image they have of themselves. Empowerment of disabled women therefore becomes the need of the hour.

1. Ms. Shagufta Shehzadi Chairperson Special Education Department, University of Karachi

2. Ms. Nasreen Aslam Shah Chairperson Women Study Centre University of Karachi

3. Ms. Musarrat Jabeen Women Development Department,Govt. of Sindh

4. Keynote Presentation By M. Zeeshan Taqi Finance Secretary A.P.H.A

5. Mr. S.M Nishat General Secretary A.P.H.A

6. Ms. Shama Dosa Active Social Worker

7. Mr. Shariful Muzaffar President A.P.H.A

8. Mrs. Riaz Fatima.Social Welfare Training Institute

9. Ms. Farzana WWD member of APHA

10. Ghulam Nabi Nizamani DPI Pakistan/Asia Pacific

Speakers highlighted issues related to women with disabilities specially WWDs based in rural areas. They discussed about:

1. Position in the family,

2. Access to education and health care facilities,

3. Opportunities to find employment,

4. Knowledge regarding existing legislation and facilities for disabled people and Women with disabilities.

5. Fulfilling the role generally ascribed to women including mainstreaming of WWDs.

6. Reproductive health of Women with Disabilities.

7. Violence against Women with Disabilities.

Delegates of the seminar recommended that:

  • Self-help groups of disabled women need to be organized. These women are to be made aware of the rights through training in self-advocacy.
  • Media campaign for spreading awareness regarding the rights of the disabled in general and disable women in particular.
  • Creation of Awareness on the Rights of Women with Disabilities according to Article 6 of UN Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities (CRPD).
  • Government to frame policies specifically catering to the interest of women with disabilities.
  • Training for women with disabilities needs to be geared towards developing a positive self-concept and self-image. They are to be empowered to recognize that they too are contributing and responsible members of society.
  • To fill the gape between WWDs of Urban and Rural area.
  • Job quota for WWDs be raised by Government from 2% to 15% because for women without disabilities have 10% quota in Government’s Jobs

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NEWS: Disabled People of Pakistan to Receive Wheelchairs, Hearing Aids, Personal Attendants

Posted on 20 August 2008. Filed under: Assistive Devices, Deaf, Mobility Impariments, News, Opportunities, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Milestone National Network of DPOs (Disabled People’s Organizations) in Pakistan recently circulated the following email:

Dear Leaders of disabillity movement

Milestone National Network of DPOs has achieved a big target.

1- Disabled persons of Pakistan can get 1000 Rs every month directlly from the provicial government.

2- Severe disabled persons can get 2000 Rs as BENAZIR SOCIAL SECUTRITY FUND FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING, So its mean that now the severe disabled persons could use Personal attendent services.

3- All assesstive devices are by the Pakistan Bait ul Mall and the federal government. For devices you can send the application in milestone office or in Pakistan Bait ul Mall. An apllication with the copy of Nation ID card.
Disabled persons of Pakistan can get their own wheelchair due to their requirement of disabillity from government ( first 120 wheelchairs allready distributed on 14th Augest by the Zumard Khan sahab and Dr.Israr shah sahab with collaboration of Milestone.
Hearing Aid also available free of coast by the federal Government. 500
white can also distributed on 14th Augest.

4- If a familly have 2 or more the 2 disabled persons in a same familly that familly will declared a special respected familly and will supported by the government.

Dear friend we did this and implementation is also started and if you will not take responsiabillity to make it social movement it will be failed. Share this information with your collegue organizations and members with disabillities.

Lot of Love

Shafiq Ur Rehman
479-omer block Allama Iqbal Town Lahore, Pakistan
MILESTONE H8/4 street NO 7 Next to Pakistan Bait ul Mall, Islamabad Pakistan

More detail about this program has been reported in the Pakistan publication, The News, at

Thank you to Shafiq Ur Rehman and to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for circulating this notice.

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JOB POST: International Technical Advisor, Disability Project, for Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund

Posted on 10 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Employment, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities, Poverty, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , |

Request for Expression of Interest, deadline 5 p.m. July 31, 2008

International Technical Advisor (Disability Project)
Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF)

Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) has received a grant from International Development Association and intends to apply a part of proceeds of this grant to payments under contract for hiring of an individual consultant as a Disability Technical Advisor. This assignment is a part of Disability Project and requires efforts to support needs of persons with disabilities in earthquake affected areas in North Western Frontier Province of Pakistan (NWFP) and Azad Jamu & Kashmir (AJK).

The responsibilities of Disability Technical Advisor for the World Bank Earthquake Disability Project will include:

A. To develop capacity of PPAF Rehabilitation & Reconstruction (RnR) Unit and Partner Organizations (POs) by:
a) Ensuring project implementation and attainment of project objectives through:
i. Developing service delivery standards and assessing their compliance.
ii. Supporting, supervising and assessing quality of service delivery at community and specialized institutions level.
iii. Overseeing development of monitoring and evaluation systems and analysis of relevant program data.
iv. Providing technical assistance to PPAF and POs to be able to carry out formulation and realization of rehabilitation plans and providing backstopping.
v. Monitoring utilization of referral services.
vi. Supervising awareness activities about disability issues at national and local levels to build knowledge and change attitudes.
vii. Assessing needs of program, lending support for problems encountered and assess progress.

b) To develop capacity of PPAF Rehabilitation & Reconstruction (RnR) Unit and Partner Organizations (POs) by:
i. Identification of professional/training needs and providing technical advice and support to Community Rehabilitation Workers (CRWs) and supervisors.
ii. Support project team in needs assessment of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and their families and design strategies for social inclusion of PWDs.
iii. Supporting design of awareness raising and anti-discrimination campaigns.
iv. Developing specific activities and IEC materials to be used at community level to support awareness raising and service delivery campaigns and support to people with disabilities and their families.
v. Giving advice and monitoring quality of work undertaken by disability supervisors/CRWs. This will include frequent field visits (as allowed by UN guidelines) to further develop skills of supervisors/CRWs and to ensure quality standards are implemented.

B. Working in close coordination with PPAF disability team and liaising with other disability partners (MRDEA, HI, Milestone Society) on a regular basis.
C. Working in collaboration with resource and information centres and assisting development of training programs.
D. Capacity assessment of Disability Service Providers (DSPs) to receive referrals.
E. Skills transfer and empowering local technical staff to facilitate interactive training sessions for disability.

The candidates must have:
• At least ten years related work experience in disability or community-based rehabilitation i.e. rehabilitation for people with disabilities, CBR, economic empowerment, etc
• Knowledge of international disability standards/methodologies and policies and a thorough understanding of global approaches to disability
• Experience of working in partnership with local organizations and government institutions to build capacity, transfer of knowledge and training, raising awareness of both governments and general public on disability issues and mobilization of civil society
• Capacity to coordinate and liaise with a wide variety of government and non-government organizations
• Competencies in advisory tasks and transfer of competencies/delivering trainings
• Work experience in emergency situations, implementing CBR in a developing country context and sensitive to cultural variation
• Values which promote apolitical, non-discriminatory, inclusion and sensitivity to cultural variations
• Good report writing and work plan development skills

Interested candidates may place their resumes at . Application must be addressed to: GM-HR, Admin & Procurement.

Expression of Interest must be delivered not later than 1700 hrs on July 31, 2008.

We Can Do received this announcement from Ghulam Nabi Nizamani.

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FREE Websites for Disabled People Organizations (DPOs)

Posted on 16 April 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Funding, Human Rights, Opportunities, Resources, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The following notice is being circulated by DANISHKADAH.

Greeting from DANISHKADAH (an organization for empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and Deafness)!

We at DANISHKADAH pleased to offer FREE websites for Disabled People Organizations (DPOs), this include hosting, domain, and development of accessible Web Pages. (Initially for Pakistani DPOs, but request from DPOs from other country may be entertained)

The aim of this project is to;

1. give exposure to least developed DPOs, who do not have resources to build and maintain their websites. And bring them up to be introduced.
2. making an accessible web based network of local / national DPOs and join that with international organizations.
3. keep everyone update about the activities of these DPOs, and promote collaboration among DPOs.
4. motivate and support DPOs for building pressure for ratification and implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and monitor the changes.

By this letter we are inviting all of the DPOs to send their request for website, on predefined form. Please fill the form and email us at, those who do not have access to internet can post filled form on given address.

Offer Detail:
FREE webhosting
FREE domain 1
FREE website (4-6 pages) 2
Added advantage:
– website will be built according to the web accessibility standards
– Possibility of having website in local language as well in English
– Get indexed on search engines and have better visibility of your organization on Internet
– More exposure in disability movement at national and international level
– build a better image of your organization, for donors and volunteers.

1 Sub-domain
2 you have to provide text and image (photos, logo) for your website

Muhammad Akram
Founder & Chairman

A project of DANISHKADAH
( FREE Accessible Web hosting and developing for DPOs )

Our organization ____________________________________________________
(organization’s name)
would like to request DANISHKADAH for FREE hosting and development of accessible website for our DPOs.

From our side the contact person will be _________________________________
__________________________________, and he/she will provide the content for the website.

We understand that this offer is purely on voluntarily basis from DANISHKADAH and may be terminated, modified at anytime without any prior notice. We also understand that DANISHKADAH may add any link or content in our web pages, however the content provided by us may not be amended without our permission. And we affirm that we shall not hold or blame DANISHKADAH for any error or other reasons whatsoever.

_____________________ DPOs’ STAMP _____________________
Signature President General Secretary
Send to – or post to

M. Arkram
Founder & Chairman
Address: D-63, Blcok 8, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi-75300
Fax : ___________________

HOME: you can post recent news, invitation for your programs, and etc.
1.1. Introduction
1.2. Vision, Mission, Objectives
1.3. Services (i.e special education, public awareness rising, rehabilitation, etc.)
1.4. Governing body (i.e. board of trustee, managing committee, whatever)
1.5. Membership (procedure detail and membership form if any)
1.6. Facts sheet
1.1.1. Established in _______
1.1.2. Registered with ______________ or non-registered NGO
1.1.3. Organization type – exclusively of / for deaf/blind/physically challenged, or mixed for all PWDs, or inclusive organization for PWDs and Non-PWDs
1.1.4. Total members, Male members, Female members, youth members (male / Female)
1.2. Wish list (if any)
2. PROJECTS (if any)
2.1. Existing project
2.1.1. Project 1, detail etc
2.1.2. Project 2, detail etc
2.2. Future project (planned)
2.2.1. Project 1 detail etc
2.2.2. Project 2 detail etc
3.1. 2008 Date wise activities such as;
3.1.1. December 3, 2007,
Celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities
a very brief one paragraph report and a
3.2. 2007
3.2.1. December 3, 2007,
Celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities
a very brief one paragraph report and a
3.2.2. September 11, 2007
Walk for the cause on International Day of Deaf Persons
a very brief on paragraph report and a
4.1. Address: _________________________________________
Phone: ____________________Fax: __________________
Mobile: __________________________________________
Email: ___________________________________________
Web: ____________________________________________

Danishkadah is an NGO with a difference. Danishkadah means a place to learn / where wisdom excels. Danishkadah was established to empower persons with disabilities and deafness, and to work as a think-tank on disability related issues.

Danishkadah is not an ordinary Disabled People Organization (DPO) to chant slogans, or protest without proposing solutions. It is a non-political organization, which concentrates on issues and solutions. Our approach is inclusive working with all segments of the society.

We at Danishkadah believe in inclusion and collaboration with all the segments of society, i.e. Persons with Disabilities & Deafness (PWDDs), government, universities, media, corporate sector and general society. Without such collaboration, the ultimate goal of “accessible, barriers-free, and right base society” cannot be achieved.
Vision, Mission, Objectives
Our Vision
In our vision “knowledge is power”
Our Mission
Our mission is to empower Persons with Disabilities and Deafness (PWDD), so they can live better and independent lives. And our ultimate goal is “inclusive, barrier-free, and right based society” (Biwako Millennium framework – UNSCAPE)
1. Empower persons with Disabilities
2. Enhance technical skill in PWDs
3. Etc etc.
Services (i.e special education, public awareness rising, rehabilitation, etc.)
We offer following ;
• Basic literacy
• English Language
• Computer literacy
• Counseling
Governing body
Board or Trustee
• Mr. Muhammad Akram – Founder & Chairman
• Mr. Imranullah Shairrf – Member
• Mr. Muhammad Ashraf Member
Executive Committee
Mr. abc Secretary
…… …….
Membership (procedure detail and membership form if any)
Any one can become member by filling the given form and paying annual fee of Rs.10/-per year.
Facts sheet
Established in 2006
Registered with Registrar South Karachi
Organization type – an inclusive organization that welcome PWD and non-PWD alike
Total members 200, 150 Male , 50 Female, youth 100 male, 20 Female)
Wish list (if any)
– Computer laboratory
– Books
– etc
Note: You can attach a photo of your organization or group photo of your team to be displayed at top of introduction, and individual photo of your governing body to be displayed with each name.

Thank you to DANISHKADAH for circulating this notice. Please remember that applications or inquiries related to this opportunity should all be directed to DANISHKADAH at, not We Can Do.

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FUNDING: Small Grants for Projects for Deaf Children

Posted on 20 March 2008. Filed under: Children, Deaf, Funding, Health, HIV/AIDS, Latin America & Caribbean, Poverty, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[En español más abajo.]

The following email is being circulated by the UK-based international organization Deaf Child Worldwide (formerly known as International Deaf Child Society):

Dear colleagues,

If are in touch with local organisations that want to start new work with deaf children, then please forward the information below about the latest round of the Deaf Child Worldwide Small Grants Programme.

Thank you so much for your help with this.

Round 7 of Deaf Child Worldwide’s Small Grants Programme is now open. The deadline for completed concept notes is 30 May 2008.

The Small Grants Programme (SGP), aims to have an impact on the lives of deaf children, their families, service providers and policy makers by establishing quality partnerships with local organisations based in our priority countries within East Africa, South Asia or Latin America. We fund one to three year projects of up to £10,000 per year.

Go to for more information about how to apply.

If you applied to SGP in the past, then please note that in 2007, we carried out a strategic review and an evaluation of SGP. We have made some significant changes to the programme. These include:

  • Smaller geographic focus. Now only organisations based in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), and Andean region of Latin America (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) can apply.
  • New strategic focus areas. We are only looking for projects which work towards these key areas.
  • Cross-cutting themes. All projects must consider poverty, gender, the social model of disability and sexual health and HIV/AIDS.
  • Longer projects. You can now apply for projects that are from one to three years long.

Please e-mail if you have any questions or would like to discuss your project idea.

Se ha abierto la Ronda 7 del Programa de Pequeñas Subvenciones de Deaf Child Worldwide. El plazo final para la presentación de las notas conceptuales es el 30 de mayo del 2008.

El Programa de Pequeñas Subvenciones (PPS) busca tener un impacto en la vida de niños sordos, sus familias, proveedores de servicios y formuladores de política estableciendo para ello asociaciones de calidad con organizaciones locales con sede en nuestros países prioritarios en África Oriental, Asia del Sur o América Latina. Financiamos proyectos de uno a tres años de hasta £10,000 anuales.

Visiten para mayor información sobre cómo postular.

Si ustedes postularon al PPS en el pasado, entonces tomen en cuenta que en el 2007 llevamos a cabo una revisión estratégica y una evaluación del PPS. Hemos hecho algunos cambios significativos al programa. Éstos son:

  • Foco geográfico más pequeño. Ahora sólo organizaciones con sede en África Oriental (Kenya, Tanzania y Uganda), Asia del Sur (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistán y Sri Lanka) y la región andina de América Latina (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador y Perú) pueden postular.
  • Nuevos ejes estratégicos. Estamos examinando sólo proyectos que trabajen en pro de estos ejes clave.
  • Temas transversales. Todos los proyectos deben considerar pobreza, género, el modelo social de la discapacidad y salud sexual y VIH/sida.
  • Proyectos más largos. Ahora ustedes pueden postular con proyectos que tengan de uno a tres años de duración.

Si tienen alguna pregunta escríbannos a Trataremos de responder lo más pronto posible, aunque recién podremos responder a indagaciones en español después del 7 de abril del 2008.

Sírvanse reenviar este email a organizaciones o colegas que ustedes consideren estarían interesados en esta oportunidad.

Best wishes,


Programmes Manager
Deaf Child Worldwide

Deaf Child Worldwide is the only UK based international development agency dedicated to enabling deaf children to overcome poverty and isolation. We are the international development agency of The National Deaf Children’s Society in the UK. Registered Charity No 1016532.

Join our network – receive regular updates and share your experiences about work with deaf children and their families. Contact or add your details at

We Can Do thanks Kirsty Wilson at Deaf Child Worldwide for passing along this announcement.

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NEWS: New Pakistani School Teaches Artificial Limb Preparation

Posted on 24 February 2008. Filed under: Mobility Impariments, News, South Asian Region, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Pakistan now has its second training program for people who wish to learn how to produce artificial limb, the on-line publication Unique Pakistan has reported. The first center, in Peshawar, was established with the assistance of Germany 25 years ago.

Students at the new school in Sindh are to be trained for four years. Twenty-five students joined the first batch in January 2008. The Dow University Artifical Limb (DUAL) center already has provided prothesis limbs to several hundred clients.

Unfortunately, the article I consulted did not provide details on how people with amputations or birth conditions can obtain protheses in Pakistan. Nor did the article indicate how people interested in learning how to construct artificial limbs can apply to enroll in the program either in Peshawar or in Sindh. IF YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH EITHER PROGRAM, then your knowledge would be welcome. Please share what information you can in the comments area below.

Meanwhile, you can read the article by clicking on this link.

I tried searching for the Dow University Health Sciences (DUHS) on the web because it appears they are responsible for setting up this school. A Wikipedia page has some information about it:

The Wikipedia page indicates that the DUHS web site is at

When I tried it, I couldn’t accesss it. (It timed out.) I’m not sure if this is a permanent problem or a temporary problem. If you can’t access it either, please let me know. If I get enough complaints then I’ll just remove the link.

We Can Do found this article through an email circulated by Ghulam Nabi Nizamani.

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Also at We Can Do: catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities that might be helpful for your organization; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do ( Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts: and If you are reading this anywhere else, then you are most likely reading a web site that regularly plagiarizes the work of other people.

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TRAINING for Women with Disabilities in South Asia

Posted on 13 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Education and Training Opportunities, Opportunities, South Asian Region, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project: Creating Space for Women With Disabilities to Communicate & Advocate for their Rights
Project Partners: AWWD (India), SARPV (Bangladesh), AKASA (Sri Lanka), HLWW (UK), Supported by: DFID, UK


“Currently our rights are not understood or heard. We need to mobilize our girls and women to take the challenge and responsibility to make our presence felt. A new generation of leaders is essential to make change happen”
Kuhu Das, Director, Association of Women with Disabilities – India

The initial ‘master’ training will facilitate a group of 25 Women with Disabilities (WWD) from the South Asia region including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Maldives in leadership & advocacy skills within a rights based framework. Those attending will in turn be supported to organize and run national level leadership and advocacy trainings when they return home. They will also develop country strategic advocacy plans, and be offered small seed grants to enable the implementation.

The participants will engage in a 7 day training process which will enable them to:

  • Share their country level situations
  • Deepen their understanding of a rights based approach to issues affecting WWD
  • Design & plan their adapted leadership and advocacy training at national level based on the initial ‘master’ training
  • Form a regional network of WWDs
  • Design & plan national advocacy and communication strategies for the rights of WWDs
  • Develop WWD leadership training modules including a resource base of materials

PARTICIPANTS (Criteria for selection):
The training is open to WWDs and organizations, who will be able to carry out the national level trainings in their respective countries after this initial workshop. They should be well networked and able to mobilize people and resources. They will need some experience of leadership and an ability to motivate others. A working knowledge of English is required, as is the ability to organize and host training events.

Priority will be given to WWD themselves and organizations working to further the rights of WWD


Regional Leadership Training: (TOT): 7 days.

  1. Sharing of project and training objectives, finalizing draft schedule and participatory agenda setting
  2. Leadership
    • Meaning, Necessity
    • Quality of a leader
  3. Communication – Advocacy – Lobbying
    • Meaning/Importance/Necessity
    • Good / effective communication
    • Communication tools
    • Development of Advocacy frameworks
    • Advocacy & lobbying – what, why & how
  4. Social Mobilisation
    • Understanding rights, including human rights, rights of women, rights of disabled
    • Significance of human rights instruments (national & international) – CEDAW, UNCRPD, BMF etc.
    • Use and limitations of these instruments
    • Social mobilization to achieve rights
    • Analysis of legislation and policies
  5. Group Mobilisation
    • Meaning/Importance/Necessity
    • Organizing people in groups
    • Mobilizing and managing groups
    • Strengthening group dynamics
    • Setting targets for group
  6. Networking
    • Why? The benefits and challenges
    • Making it effective & sustainable
    • Setting vision and target activities
  7. Planning & designing training
    • Adapting ‘master’ training to national level
    • Content development / modification
    • Quality assurance – M&E
  8. Facilitation skills
    • Participatory approaches
    • Skills development
  9. Working with the Media
    • How to engage with media
    • How to promote issues
    • Media literacy
  10. Action planning for national level training and advocacy activities
    • Strategy development
    • Integrating into existing national and local initiatives
    • Monitoring and Evaluation

The training will be highly participatory, drawing on the experience of the participants to develop and improve our collective knowledge base. Trainers will be from a variety of backgrounds and specialisms including advocacy expertise, network strengthening, media, project planning and management and leadership skills development.

25 places will be fully supported including travel, food, accommodation and a small allowance.

Workshop Venue – Kolkota (to be confirmed)
Dates – mid February 2008 (to be confirmed)

If you are interested to attend this workshop please email a one page letter outlining:
your interest in this field of work
your experience in disability activism and rights based approaches
your experience and capacity to take the work forward at national level
Ms Kuhu Das: (Regional coordinator – AWWD India)
and Mr David Curtis: (Head of Programme and Capacity Development, Healthlink Worldwide, UK)

Closing date for applications: January 5th 2008.

A selection committee comprising members from the four lead organizations will assess each application. Please remember that after the initial ‘master’ training, there will be national level trainings in each of the countries in the region so there will be further opportunities to engage at national level.

This workshop is part of the ‘Creating Spaces – for women with disabilities (WWD) to communicate and advocate for their rights’ project – a collaborative initiative from Association of Women with Disabilities (AWWD) – India, Association for Women with Disabilities (Akasa), Sri Lanka, Social Assistance for the Rehabilitation of the Physically Vulnerable (SARPV) Bangladesh and Healthlink Worldwide, UK

The project is funded by UK Department for International Development (DfID)

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FUNDING for South Asian Projects on HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination

Posted on 12 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Funding, Health, HIV/AIDS, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Reach this page at

South Asia Regional Development Marketplace: Tackling HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination
For further information please go to:

On November 26, 2007 the South Asia Development Marketplace on AIDS related stigma and discrimination was launched. Proposals for innovative ideas to tackle stigma can be submitted until January 31, 2008 by community based organizations (CBOs), non-government organizations (NGOs), foundations, private sector groups, universities and schools, local municipal bodies and government institutions – in collaboration with (other) NGOs and CBOs. The 75 candidates who will be selected from India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, will be invited to the regional Development Marketplace in Mumbai 15 May, 2008, and there 25 winners will be selected and awarded up to US$40,000 each for an 18 month implementation period.

To know about the South Asia Regional Development Marketplace: Tackling HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination, please visit the website

This annoucement was recently distributed on both the GPDD and the Intl-Dev email distribution lists.

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PAPER: Impact of South Asian Earthquake on Disabled People

Posted on 27 October 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Impact of the South Asian Earthquake on Disabled People in the State of Jammu and Kashmir
Parvinder Singh, Ph.D. Candidate
Jawaharlal Nehru University

Abstract: On the morning of October 8, 2005, a devastating earthquake, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck the Kashmir region with its epicentre near Muzzafarabad in Pakistan-administrated Kashmir. It took a while for both India and Pakistan to comprehend the scale of destruction that the quake had unleashed. In the two weeks following, the quake had left over 50,000 dead on the Pakistani side of the India-Pakistan border and claimed 1,300 lives on the Indian side. A second wave of deaths was expected with the onset of the region’s notorious winter.
Our thoughts immediately went to what may be happening to disabled people in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, though we knew the answer, based on our bitter experiences of seeing disabled people being neglected even in the so-called normal scenarios. Our National Disability Network partner in the mountainous and violence ravaged State confirmed our fears of the “general neglect” being compounded in the wake of this calamity.
With information gained from the Asian Tsunami and impending legislation on Disaster Management on the floor of Indian Parliament, we decided it was imperative to draw up the difficulties that disabled people face during natural disasters to facilitate some churning of our national consciousness and possibly a policy intervention. What follows is an account of a fact-finding mission, its findings and recommendations, on the impact of the Kashmir quake. It is a story of persistent neglect, which turns grave when calamities strike.

Key Words: disaster, Kashmir earthquake, disability


Late last year, a devastating earthquake shook the Himalayan region of the Indian subcontinent. The two rival nations, India and Pakistan, were united in grief as the scene of death and destruction unfolded. But as this event showed, just like Hurricane Katrina almost halfway across the globe, those who are collectively consigned to the margins of policy focus and safety plans are not only the worst sufferers of disasters, but also the least attended. India did not have a disaster management policy when the South Asian Earthquake took place. It was in a phase of finalisation. But the policy makers once again failed to focus on the needs of over 700 million disabled and aged people, as the final draft of this plan did not make even a single mention of these sections of the population.

Impact of South Asian Earthquake on Disabled People

On the morning of October 8, 2005, a devastating earthquake, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck the Kashmir region with its epicentre near Muzzafarabad in Pakistan-administrated Kashmir. However, it took a while for both India and Pakistan to wake up to the scale of destruction that the quake had unleashed. In just the two weeks since, the quake had left over 50,000 dead on the Pakistani side and taken 1,300 lives in India. The toll rose substantially by the second wave of deaths with the onset of the region’s winter.

Immediately after the quake, the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), Disabled Peoples’ International – India (DPI – India), and the National Disability Network (NDN) contacted the NDN State Partner, Javed Ahmad Tak of Helpline, a Non-Government Organization (NGO) working for the rights of disabled people in the remote parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Through him we came to know stories that went beyond what the newspaper headlines could capture, particularly with regards to the status of people with disabilities. Their plight was multiplied manifold due to the reported lack of coordination and inaccessibility.

With these concerns in mind, a team consisting of myself, Senior Project Coordinator with NCPEDP and Mukhtar Ahmad and Muzzamil Yakub, both from a local disabled peoples’ NGO Helpline, visited quake affected areas in Kashmir from October 18th to 20th to take first hand stock of the status of the rescue, relief, and rehabilitation process with a specific focus on people with disabilities. The objective was to get disability included in the long-term rehabilitation plans being mooted by sensitising the State’s polity and the civil administration. Further, we also wanted to understand the disability scenario in the region: the administrative framework, implementation of the Disability Act, and the existence of disability NGOs–including their functioning, reach, and awareness levels that will help in planning their work for the future.

We visited hospitals, relief camps, and villages in Baramulla, Uri, Tangdhar, and Salamabad. During the course of our visit, we contacted the Honourable Governor, Lieutenant General Shri S.K. Sinha, State Social Welfare Minister Shri Mula Ram, and the State Human Rights Commissioner Justice A. Mir. We also spoke to other personnel, including several local officials, medical staff, and doctors, as well as quake-affected people. But before detailing our first-hand experience of the chaos and ordeal of people in the State, it is important to conceptualise the unique and not so-unique aspects of the State, particularly its status as a conflict zone.

Kashmir: Disaster and Disability in a Conflict Zone

The State of Jammu and Kashmir has had a history of violence and political turmoil ever since India and Pakistan attained political independence from British rule in 1947. The two neighbours have fought full-scale wars in 1947 and 1971, besides a near-war like conflict in 1999 called the Kargil War, over the region. The bone of contention between the two nations has been the treaty of accession that was signed by the then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir and Lord Mountbatten in 1947 through which the state was ceded to India. Pakistan has refused to accept this fact.

The State was thrown into turmoil in the 1990’s as Islamic militancy grew roots in the region and enlisted thousands of local youth into the vortex of violence. Today the State has the largest deployment of soldiers and para-military in any single region in India. This conflict combined with political discontent among the locals has given birth to an extremely complex sociophysiological situation in the State. Deaths, gunfire, blasts, disabilities, and unaccounted disappearances have subjected the local population to trauma associated with a conflict zone for several years. The impact on vulnerable groups has been severe, particularly women and disabled people. A number of civil society groups are engaged in providing support to a wide social group undergoing mental health issues, including widows, rape victims, and orphaned children.

The State dubbed by many past rulers as “a heaven on the earth” for its breathtaking mountainous beauty, offers difficult living conditions due to its severe winters and inaccessible terrain that is compounded by poor infrastructure. The people here are predominantly Muslim and have a strong ethnic identity. A large part of the State formed a very volatile border with Pakistan until a recent cease-fire agreement came into force. The cross-border shelling and heavy artillery fire has been a constant feature for people living in the bordering villages. This shelling and artillery fire has been a major cause of physical disability, along with insurgency related causes.

It needs to be underlined here that, at least so far as our Indian experience is concerned, disabled people and issues related to them are way down the list of social and administrative concerns as the so-called pressing issues that confront a much larger or visible vote-bank are given a precedence. This situation holds true for Jammu and Kashmir as well. However, what makes it worse here is that the agenda of development has found a very myopic interpretation here, as this unending violence has not allowed any sustained growth.

Various institutions like schools and hospitals reflect a lack of even basic accessibility features. Javed, our local disability NGO partner, has been fighting for years now to get some disability-friendly changes initiated in the Kashmir University. After each incident of violence that gets noticed nationally, authorities almost spontaneously issue token compensation and artificial limbs to disabled people. This effort, however, is never sustained to make those affected economically and socially independent. Curfews are an order of the day in the streets of the Kashmir Valley and incidents abound of people being shot in the dark of the night because they were too slow in responding to a call by troops to move away or step into the light. Problems of sanitation, portable water, and transport make life for disabled and aged people very tough.

Relief Distribution Left Disabled People Unattended

After the earthquake, it was a clear display of the Darwinian theory of the survival of the fittest when it came to relief distribution, which for the most part was a hit-and-run drill of dumping relief materials by NGOs, political parties, and charitable trusts. This scene was apparent all along the National Highway No. 1/A from Baramulla onwards. Though there was plenty of aid, the takers of the relief material distributed through this method were ironically very limited in number. These were largely young boys who could slug it out in the jostling crowd. We saw this at least at a dozen points starting from the outskirts of Uri.
As we spoke to persons with disabilities who received aid, we were astonished by their stories. One said:

“I have walked here with great difficulty. My braces are my only mode of travel as the artificial limb that was given to me by the Indian Army at the Bone and Joint Hospital in Srinagar (winter capital of India-administered Kashmir) has cracked and I will need a new one…There is a mad rush when relief is being distributed. People are desperate. My father is very old and I have five sisters. This makes me the only one in the family who can come out and hunt for relief. My house has got destroyed completely and we have been camping in the open for past eleven days.”

The 22-year-old man had lost his right limb a few years ago when a shell landed on his house. He was trapped in the ensuing fire. He had been trekking over seven kilometres each day, since his house was destroyed in the quake, to the District Medical Centre in Uri to try his luck and get some blankets.

This experience is indicative of why a targeted approach is needed for people with disabilities, who face unimaginable difficulty in accessing relief in times of disasters. This problem was compounded in the case of Kashmir due to its mountainous terrain and the general inaccessibility of the region. The small settlements in the area defy the usual conception of a village and might be no more than a set of six to eight houses far from the navigable road. As I moved around the fringes of the highway that led to the neighbouring Pakistan border, I kept hearing of families stuck near their destroyed dwellings in the hills as the able-bodied male members came out to get in touch with lower-level government employees who almost always double as relief workers in case of calamity.

The Uri region has been a focal area for projects run by state power and construction companies. They were one of the first institutions, after the Indian Army, who had set up relief and first aid centers. I spoke to some of the officials manning these and was told that they had not seen any disabled person coming over from the villages in the hills. “It is unlikely that a disabled person would trek so far in these circumstances. We have sent teams out on foot, but in my knowledge they have not reported having met any in this area (Salamabad),” said an official manning a small centre set up by Hindustan Construction Company.

My personal observation revealed three disabled people slugging it out in the crowds that had gathered at relief distribution points. This struggle for relief material brought to my mind the general neglect that disabled people face in the country on account of lack of policy focus, which in turn is fostered by lack of empowerment and awareness among people with disabilities.

Lack of Coordination and an Existing System with Specific Focus on Disabled People

According to an estimate of the disability sector, there are over a million people with disabilities in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. A large number of these people have been disabled due to incidents relating to mine explosions, shelling along the Line of Control, and militancy-related violence. In view of the above situation, the lack of attention that the civil administration and its officials displayed in terms of attending to people with disabilities came as a surprise.

As happens after every disaster in the sub-continent, the employees of Union and State governments are rushed to these areas to open rather ill-equipped so-called relief centres. These junior-level employees are not trained to deal with such scenarios. “There is no specific brief to be kept in mind so far as disabled people are concerned. I will definitely help them on account of humanity. We know things can be tough for them,” said an official at a point set up by the National Hydro Power Corporation.

We visited an Information Centre set up by the State Administration outside the Sub Divisional Magistrate’s office in Uri to find out if any disabled people had approached them for help. The officials on duty told us in general that those approaching them were NGO workers, and not victims. “Can you tell me what villages we can go to? I have been waiting to find an area where we can help victims affected by the quake…it has been two days,” said David Martin from US-based charity called Helping Hands. “All of us have been affected by the quake. Why are you enquiring only about people with disabilities? They will ultimately receive some help,” said an official outside the District Hospital in Uri.

My interaction clearly brought out the general lack of coordination. People from affected villages blamed politics or apathy as the reason for the lack of timely relief. It also highlighted the absence of orientation towards the needs of disabled people.

Quake Injuries Indicate A Likely Rise in Disabilities

During our visit to hospitals in Baramulla, Uri, and Srinagar we attempted to take stock of the kind of treatment people with disabilities needed, the assistive or orthopaedic devices they needed, and the nature of the injuries that were being reported. Dr. S.A. Rashid, Medical Superintendent of the Bone and Joint Hospital in Srinagar stated:

“The true picture of rehabilitation that these victims will need would emerge only in the coming months. Most of these injuries were caused by dislodged objects. Quite a few of these people would not be able to function as before. There are cases of compound fracture that may get complicated, and some of them may even need amputation.”

The office of Medical Superintendent at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences voiced the same opinion. Doctors on duty said that the majority of the 211 cases related to the earthquake were of injuries to the limbs and head. Dr. Samina of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences added that:

“Three amputations have taken place so far (till 20th October). These include two men and one girl. They have been referred for surgery. In fact the girl’s amputation was done today itself.”

I also observed reluctance on the part of doctors and hospital medical staff in sharing information, possibly because of heavy politicisation that saw leaders of all hue frequenting these hospitals.

Dr. Jatinder Singh of the Bone and Joint Hospital in Srinagar told us of three amputations in his hospital. He also mentioned that several other cases could end up with amputations. For instance, he added a seven-month-old infant had suffered multiple fractures and was brought in 12 days after the earthquake and there was a great chance that he could end up with a disability. He also informed us about one patient, Khalid, who had a disability on account of severe dislocation of a knee and was now on the verge of amputation, even as the doctors were trying to save him from it. These visits clearly highlighted the need for both immediate and long-term intervention for providing aids and appliances, apart from medical intervention to avoid or minimise instances of disabilities.

I was also told about a team of doctors from the National Institute for the Orthopaedically Handicapped, Kolkata [Calcutta], having visited these hospitals and meeting some of the victims who have undergone amputations. But as highlighted by the doctors, there is a need for more organized and exhaustive undertakings.

I came across some NGO workers who were engaged in counselling of victims suffering from trauma. One such group, from Delhi, was manning a small centre beyond Salamabad, barely 5 kilometres from the Line of Control (unofficial India-Pakistan). “In a single day we have received about 120 people coming in for the first time since the quake. Most of these people have very minor problems and are here more because this is their first touch with compassion, after being shocked and traumatized by the destruction and death around them,” said an NGO worker.

The valley has had a known prevalence of trauma cases since the time insurgency took root, and with the quake it is going to increase. We felt that the people need a greater engagement by the way of easy and accessible counselling, as short-term/temporary measures would not help.

Rehabilitation Must Take A Macro-Approach to Integrating the Needs of Disabled People

Moreover, Commanding Officer of 56 Rashtriya Rifle, an elite anti-terrorist unit of the Indian Army that operates in the Uri sector stated that:

“As our men were close to the area of impact and are well-versed with the topography here, we reacted immediately to carry out rescue operations. We continue to coordinate with the administration and civilians in getting across the relief. But our role cannot be long-term or stretched beyond a point. The civil administration will have to step in and rehabilitate the people affected by the quake.”

This quotation sums up the challenge with which the civil administration is confronted. This phase of rehabilitation in Kashmir is going to be as important as that of relief, as the availability of a cover over the head would mean a difference between life and death.
“Our homes have got destroyed by the wrath of nature. As it is, the life is difficult here. We are among the lucky few who are putting up in the tent city. But we will have to return to pick up pieces and rebuild our lives,” said Noor Mohammad who is putting up at the tent camp near Tangdhar, an area which has sustained the greatest damage on the Indian side of Line of Control, in terms of property. While some families in Tangdhar and Uri districts have decided to reconstruct the damaged houses using re-usable material, the state government is providing each of them with financial assistance of Rs. 100,000 [100,000 rupees] for reconstruction work. In addition, 450 engineers of the state government are being trained in two batches to guide families in rebuilding their damaged houses. Building demonstration centers are also being set up in six places in the two districts.

Almost 26 villages have been adopted by various agencies including the Army, Air Force, Border Security Force, the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) and the Delhi Government. But on the projected requirement of 30,000 tents, the Government has managed to procure just over half that number.

Despite two major disasters in recent years, the Asian tsunami and the Kashmir earthquake, governments have failed to wake up to the need for placing an administrative system in place to make special provisions to ensure expeditious rescue and relief for disabled people. The long term policy measures that have been announced since then also do not reflect any learning on the part of the governments on the devastating impact that disasters have on disabled people who are not only worst hit, but also last to get any rehabilitation. An explanation for the complete neglect of disabled people by policy makers can be found in the corresponding lack of awareness and political rights of disabled people in this part of the world. A society and polity attuned to the rights of its marginalised sections is the only solution for an effective and inclusive disaster policy.

Another issue that will have to be addressed is that of the lack of a technical knowledge-base that impedes a systematic response to these disasters. The chaos that follows these disasters is also responsible for overlooking marginalized sections of the population. The training of disaster response teams and civil and administrative coordination in such situations would have to be addressed and while doing so the needs of vulnerable sections would have to be prioritized.


Following this visit, we made following broad recommendations to the Government of India:

  1. There is an urgent need to collect data on disabled people who have been affected by the earthquake. Not only should we look at the data of those who have been rendered disabled, also that of those with a disability who have survived but are affected and people with psychosocial problems compounded or caused by the disaster.
  2. Concrete and time-bound plans must be made to address disability concerns in revival of livelihoods, achieving convergence among all on-going programs of sustainable development, and reconstruction.
  3. Disabled-friendly and inclusive built environments must be considered when reconstruction of shelters (temporary or permanent), schools, health centres, housing facilities, water and sanitation facilities, etc. takes place.
  4. International and other N.G.O.s supporting the Government in relief/rehabilitation/reconstruction work should include disability on their agenda.
  5. Disability should be a priority area for any policy that is being formulated for preparedness, mitigation and management and other efforts to prepare us to face similar challenges with confidence, and competence in the future.
  6. This is a good opportunity to correct the mistakes. The Disability Act should be enforced in the State.

Parvinder Singh is a Senior Project Coordinator with the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People in Delhi, India. He has worked as a journalist and social science researcher, and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Modern Indian History at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

This paper was originally published in The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal (RDS), a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary, international journal, published by the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. It was published in Volume 3, Issue 3, 2007 (376 Kb in Word doc format). The main page of the journal is at Thank you to Parvinder Singh and the editors of RDS for their permission to publish this paper at We Can Do.

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Pakistan: Report on Disability Forum

Posted on 6 October 2007. Filed under: News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Last month, people with disabilities in Pakistan gathered to discuss their challenges and possible solutions. This report summarizes the discussions at the Nawabshah Disability Forum (NDF-Nawabshah). Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nazimani for passing this along.


ndf_nawabshah at yahoo dot com

One day seminar on “Problems of PWDs in Pakistan organized by Nawabshah Disability Forum (NDF-Nawabshah) member of SDF and DPI Pakistan at Suroor Hotel Nawabshah on 12 SEPTEMBER 2007.

Nawabshah disability forum (NDF-Nawabshah) is a non-profitable organization of Person with disabilities, which is run by energetic & dynamic persons with disabilities on self-help basis in rural area of southern Pakistan. It was working with Sindh Disabled Welfare Association since 1995 and then separated as NDF in 10-01-2002 to work in It’s area of operation is district Nawabshah of Sindh province of Pakistan. NDF – Nawabshah leads to all categories of persons with disabilities. NDF- Nawabshah came into existence to help deprived community of persons with disabilities of rural Sindh. NDF-Nawabshah is affiliated Sindh Disability Forum (SDF), Disabled peoples International Pakistan (DPI-P).

1: To seek attention of the district Government towards the problems faced by PWDs of Nawabshah.
2:To sensitize the civil society regarding the issues of special peoples.
3: To raise the Public awareness regarding the issues of special persons .
4: To provide an opportunity to the PWDs to intermix with the society.
5: To build up confidence among the PWDs.
6: To create close Linkage between institutions working for PWDs.

Schedule of the Program
Chaired By: Mr. Abdul Haque Jamali Sahib,
Naib Nazim District Nawabshah.
Chief Guest : Ghulam Nabi Nizamani Sahib,
President Sindh Disability Forum (SDF) and vice chair person Dpi Asia Pacific.
Recitation made by: Rustam Jamali Sahib.
Facilitator : Ghulam Muhammad Sarang Sahito.

Abid Lashari (President NDF-Nawabshah)
He first of all thanked all the participants, who devoted their precious time for the seminar .He highlighted the main objectives of the seminar. He said that we want to involve Local Government to solve the problems concerned to disability .NDF wants to realize that PWDs are not burden over the society but PWDs have to play vital role in the development of the society. He Further said that we want to raise our voices at assembly Floors for the redresses of our grievances. PWDs are ignored in all developmental fields; even 2% reserved job Quota is not implemented .we want draw attention of the district government Nawabshah that we PWDs are also part of the society. He appealed to the civil society to give space to the PWDs for their independent living.

Mr: Saleh Biloo (Renowned Journalist)
He said in his speech that civil and governmental institutions for PWDs in Nawabshah are failed regarding the rehabilitation of PWDs. Reserved 2% job Quota is sold on commission to Person with non-disabilities. He further said, we should change our attitudes towards special persons. Special children must be offered out-door activities as they may not feel themselves chained in the institutions.

Mr: Sarng Sahito (A.D , RCMHC)
He said that our institution RCMHC is also working for the cause of Rehabilitation of PWDs from government side, our institution facing lot of hardships due to un-availability of convinces despite it we are working to meet the cause. He further said that NDF is playing pivotal role to create mass awareness.

Mr. Khan Bhadur Bhatti Sahib (Taluka Naib Nazim Nawabshah)
He said that TMA Nawabshah will try it’s best to address the issues concerned to disability .He apprized the role of NDF ,to raise the voice of PWDs .He maintained that TMA Nawabshah will provide every possible support.

Mr Ghullam Nabi Nizamani (President Sindh Disability Forum(SDF ) and vice chair DPI Asia Pacific
He said in his speech that Disability is not curse but blessing in disguise. It is our moral duty to support our fellows. He said that PWDs have God-gifted abilities ,they have proven themselves in the History, like Moririo Mirbhar, Helen Keller and others. He further said that Morrio Mirbhar is my role model, who fought against a wicked crocodile with bravery in spite of disability ,we should proud over Morrio, hero of Sindhi folk stories. He said Due to unavailability of Ramps in the public offices, PWDs could not make easy access to reach the competent authorities. He demanded of Authorities to make Barrie-Free Society for PWDs in the Pakistan. He said that UNO has passed convention on rights of PWDs, meanwhile Pakistan is reluctant to sign the document. He demanded of Pakistan Govt: to sign the document forthwith as rights of PWDs could be protected .He lauded the sincere efforts of NDF team under leader ship of Abid lashari for organizing such type of Seminar; He said there should be series of such type of programs for public awareness.

MR: ABDUL HAQUE JAMALI SAHIB (Naib Nazim District Nawabshah)
Mr: Abdul Haque Jamali said in his presidential address that PWDs are most active they have potential to work every where. He appreciated the services of NDF-Nawabshah and termed the seminar as an historical event in the District .He said that special persons require special attention. It is our moral duty to pay proper attention over the problems faced by PWDs of Nawabshah. He maintained that District Govt: will provide every possible help to NDF ,which works for the betterment of PWDs of district .He said that He will try his best to implement reserved 2% job Quota in civil & private sector .He said that I salute those persons who have broken begging bowl and captured PEN in their Hands. We all must be united to Help PWDs as they could prove themselves as useful part of the society.
· PWDs must be given equal partnership in the society.
· Reserved 2% job Quota may strictly be implemented in the civil and private sector.
· Survey of PWDs be collected and then plan of action be made for rehabilitation of PWDs.
Provision of office for NDF-Nawabshah.
Provision of Special grant for NDF-Nawabshah.
Provision of special club for PWDs .
Provision of Ramps in Public places.
Restructuring Of district assessment board.
Free education college and in university level in special scholars should be offered to special candidates
To maintain 20 percent funds quota in Zakat in Baitul Mal for PWDs
Provision of helping hands and artificial limbs

At the end Mr. Ghulam Sarwar jat presented vote of thanks, and two hundred participants were served refreshment.

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