As the world celebrates 2019 World Disability Day, the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Ebonyi State Chapter has appealed to the state government for recall of the 83 members of the association allegedly suspended from the state workforce in 2015 because according to them, despite all odds great abilities still abound in their disabilities.
President of the Association in the state, Comrade Chieme Franklin made the appeal during the 2019 commemoration of the Day in Abakaliki, he thanked the state governor, Chief David Umahi for his care to the association and solicited for donation of utility vehicle to facilitate their mobility.
The International Day of People with Disability is held on December 3 yearly as United Nations (UN) recognized day, which is observed all throughout the world.
World Disability Day aims at increasing public awareness, understanding and accepting people with disability and celebrating their achievements and contributions. It is being celebrated since 1992, when World Disabled Day was recognized officially to promote compassion and acceptance of disability issues and provide support for the self-respect, rights and better living of disabled persons.
In other words, it aims at making the society more aware about the political, social, economic and cultural life of people with disabilities.
Comrade Chieme appealed to the government of Ebonyi state for domestication of the Disability Act and inclusive education to promote rights and lives of the people with disabilities in the state as said to be in place in other States of the Federation.
Comrade Chieme lamented stoppage of annual bursary payment to 120 undergraduate persons with disabilities in the state and monthly subvention to the association allegedly suspended in 2015 have exposed members of the group to untold hardship which include but not limited to drop out of school, deteriorated health situations and indebtedness of N160,000 rentage for their association’s office accommodation.
They called on Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Nigerian dental council, Pharmaceutical council of Nigeria among other health unions to assist them with early diagnosis, free or subsidized healthcare delivery to their sick members to prevent further disabilities.
The theme for 2019 celebration of the day is ‘The future is accessible’.
“Disability is a phenomenon that spares no society. It knows no boundaries and cuts across countries, sex, age, religion, race, social status and political position. It estimated that there are more than two billion physically challenged people worldwide, majority of these are located in the developing countries.
“Despite the variation in statistics of the number of the disabled, what is not in contention is the level of poverty that affects this sub group as nine out of every ten persons with disabilities in the country live below poverty line.
“This is despite the fact that the disabled persons like the abled, have certain peculiar qualities that if harnessed will lead to normal lives. Most of us are trainable and with proper care and support from the government and stakeholders, our talents could be fully harnessed to reduce our dependency and promote economic and social development.”
“I therefore, solicit the cooperation and collaboration of the state government, good spirited individuals, local governments, Non Governmental Organizations, politicians through this medium to as a matter of priority listen to our plights and address the most pressing our numerous challenges bedeviling these vast community of persons with disabilities, who if empowered positively will lead the world of entrepreneurs and academics.”
“The future is accessible means that we must all, together, look towards a future where the barriers which stand in people’s way no longer exist. We envisage a future where people can access a building without using stairs; where a person can access a ramp to the beach; or can get a job without fear of discrimination; or can access a mainstream classroom. Working towards an accessible future is everyone’s responsibility. With us, create a future which demands that people are not excluded because of their health impairments. Call out barriers wherever you see them, and work with us to overcome them”, Comrade Chieme enjoined.