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Independent Living Project Launching Ceremony

Pilot Project for Persons with Severe Disabilities

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The Milestone Society for the Special Persons launched a pilot project for persons with severe disabilities on 1st September, 2014, under the umbrella of Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) Network. The Project will be implemented in collaboration with Punjab Welfare Trust for Disabled in Lahore, where 10 persons with severe disabilities will be provided with electric wheelchairs and attendant services. The background to the project is that there was no-availability of pertinent services for persons with severe disabilities and they had to live a stagnant life, being unable to move or become part of the society. The project will ensure mobility of persons with severe disabilities with provision of electric wheelchairs and their social participation as well as their dignity through the provision of life management skills for independent living. The Milestone is the largest organization in Pakistan of persons with disabilities with a history of changing lives of persons with disabilities. It has implemented many projects for persons with disabilities and produced agents of change. This project is aimed at enabling persons with severe disabilities to be productive part of the society. The launching ceremony was held at the Milestone’s office, where dignities and persons with disabilities participated and graced the occasion.

Persons with disabilities present on the occasion shared their daily living problems and issues arising out of unavailability of basic facilities of life. They also vented their inner feelings: they had to live a confined life as they had no mobility devices like wheelchairs and there was no proper attendant service for them. They had developed a sense of deprivation as they did not have any share in life or society. This project ensuring their mobility will provide them with an opportunity to be a healthy pride of society.

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The Chief Guest Dr. Izhar Hashmi, Director Punjab Welfare Trust introduced Akhuwat and Punjab Welfare Trust for the Disabled. He said that persons with disabilities had always been a focus of the entities. He continued, ‘We are providing support in this project for the provision of services to persons with severe disabilities.’ He appreciated the Milestone for sharing this idea of project as there was an uegent need to mainstream persons with severe disabilities for a creation of a balanced society.

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Mr. Shafiq UR Rehman, President of the Milestone, appreciated both entities for their support and initiatives for persons with disabilities. He added that the Milestone would be providing independent life management skills to persons with severe disabilities to make them active in society. In addition, the provision of electric wheelchairs and attendant services are the important components of this pilot project. The Milestone will utilize its expertise to deliver this project in the best possible manner. Persons with disabilities are to be treated as equal, respectable and contributing part of the society like their counterparts.

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