Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Physically Challenged Persons call for implementation of Disability Bill

Okechukwu Onuegbu

Physically challenged persons and destitute in Anambra State under the auspices of Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD) had implored the federal government and 36 states governors in the country to expedite action towards ensuring implementation of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Bill 2014 which was recently passed into law at the senate and house of representative but yet to be ascent to by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The bill, according to JONAPWD, seeks to address the issues of discrimination against the disables or persons with special needs in all ramifications; especially on employment, marriage, socio-cultural and religious practices, politics, among other areas.
Disclosing this at the three days training and capacity building workshops on engagement and advocacy processes, recently held at the Local Government Area Secretariats of Anambra West, Idemili-North and Orumba North council areas of Anambra state by the Care for the Physically Challenged and Destitute Foundation (CAPCADF) in support of Department for International Development (DFID), Christian Aid, and Justice and Peace Development Commission (JPDC), Onitsha, Comrade Ugochukwu Okeke, the State Secretary of JONAPWD explained that the bill if passed into law, would go a long way in addressing their myriads of needs, and also empower them to become self-reliant and employers of labours.
According to Comrade Okeke, the Disability bill which include fundamental human rights, would further help in reducing crimes and high cost of governance in the country, because persons with special needs shall become responsible in the society and pay their taxes and levies as at when due, even as they would create employment opportunities to the teeming populace.
While commending Anambra State government for been accommodative to JONAPWD, the Secretary who doubles as the Programme Officer of the workshop regretted that the bill mainly scaled through first reading in the state legislative chamber, and appealed to the lawmakers to speed-up action towards its passage.
Similarly, the over 1000 participants at the workshops pleaded for financial supports, soft credit loans, scholarships, among other enablement from the government and concerned citizens with a view to achieving their various ambition hitch-free.
Earlier speaking, the Founder of CAPCADF, Mrs. Gloria Nwafor, while stressing that the workshop was in continuation of her group resolve to champion the courses of disadvantaged in the 3 selected council areas through collection of their baseline data which would assist the government and philanthropists in policy formulations and execution, enjoined her colleagues to maintain cordial relationship with all the stakeholders while on advocacy so as to realise their aims and objectives.  
Speaking in a lecture entitled “Understanding Engagement and Engagement Processes”, Mr. Ikenna Udeani postulated that the basic tool for ‘engagement’ and ‘advocacy’ were collaborative efforts, frequent communication and visitation to the stakeholders by the interested parties.
CAPCADF also used the medium to inaugurate Advocacy and Engagement Committees for the physically challenged persons in the areas.



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