KARACHI – “About 15 percent of the total Pakistani population owns different types of disabilities. There is a hundred 100 per cent possibility for the handicapped to overcome all these difficulties, and to become a respectable citizen of society.
Large numbers of disabled people have suffered human rights abuses in our society. Although the physically disabled people should be treated better than others, they have been humiliated in the society.”
These deliberations were made by Mr. Amjad Siddiqi, an active member of National and International Handicapped Welfare Organizations, while delivering a Public Awareness lecture on “Living with Disabilities”, held at Prof. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium of International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi (UoK) on Monday. The public awareness seminar was jointly organised by Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), UoK and Virtual Education Project Pakistan (VEPP).
Health professionals, students, research scholars, NGO representatives, and general public attended the program.
It is pertinent to mention here that Amjad Siddiqi suffered a deadly car accident in Saudi Arabia in 1981 which left him paralyzed. But he combated against his disability. Finally his struggle made him a successful businessman and an active member of National and International Handicapped Welfare Organizations.
Mr. Siddiqi said that the accident helped him understand that a disability was not necessarily a bad thing. It can be handled, he added.
“Disability does not mean the life is end. Disabled people are required to play their due role in the society. In our society, the most of people consider handicapped people as useless third class citizens and think that a handicapped person should not dream to live like a normal person and this discrimination starts from our homes, our own parents start treating us like we are a burden on them.
Family as a basic social institution can play pivotal role in term of infusing courage into the depressed handicapped people,” he said
Taking about his accident, he said that he had suffered a car accident and became paralyzed arms down (Paraplegic) but he never lost hope and didn’t allow his disabilities to come on in his way.
He said, “I tried and struggled hard to lead a normal life. Though discouraged by friends and relatives and abandoned by many of my close associates, I continued to remain focused on my aims and ambitions. Today despite all odds stacked against me, I am a successful businessman and a proud owner of several business entities around the world. The only thing that I believe in is that where there is a will there is a way.”