The recent viral video in which a bus conductor can be seen assaulting two deaf and mute children sheds light on the fact that despite tall claims by the government, the plight of persons with disabilities continues. It was heartening to know that the chief minister of Punjab took notice of the situation; suspended school principal and charged school bus employees for assaulting the children. But is this enough? The convention on the rights of persons with disabilities promotes, protects and ensures the full and equal availability of all human rights and fundamental civil freedom to all persons with disabilities and promotes respect for their inherent dignity. Therefore, every effort should be made to take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disabilities.
Although the government has initiated a number of projects for the education, vocational training, job placement, and ultimate rehabilitation of these people to make them self-reliant citizens of Pakistan, more needs to be done. Since these people require societal protection, the government should focus more on this issue and take concrete measures to reduce the plight of such people. Only words will not do anything until they are backed by actions.
Syed Ali Mukhtar Jafari (Lahore)