2005 earthquake survivor campaigning for rights of disabled


MUZAFFARABAD Oct 8 (TNS):  It has been 12 years since the deadly 7.6-magnitude earthquake rocked Pakistan, but owning it to the unfulfilled promises by the government, thousands of physically disabled victims in Azad Kashmir still struggle hard to live a zormal life.

One such story is of Muzaffarabad’s Kiran Shehzadi. Shehzadi of Dhanni Mai Sahiba – a rural constituency in Muzaffarabad, having buried under a collapsed school’s building in 2005 received severe injuries to her spine. But even after learning that she will be physically disabled for life, Shehzadi didn’t lose hope and continued her studies.

While her parents were forced to move to the city because of her medical condition, Shehzadi accepted her disability as a challenge and learned to live with it.

Now a graduate in Bachelor of Education, in a conversation with Dunya News, Shehzadi said: “Our educational institutions lack proper facilities for disabled students. One of the biggest issues faced by disabled people is that of transportation. I am a private graduate and want to study further.

According to Shehzadi, the disobeying of government issued orders regarding the facilities of disabled people is making it hard for her and many others like her to live a convenient life.

“I want us, the disabled people to be provided our proper rights. Most importantly I demand employers to obey the government allotted quotas for the disabled people,” she said.

The foundation of a rehabilitation project for the welfare of the 10 thousand disabled victims of the earthquake was laid in Azad Kashmir. But even having spent more than 7 billion rupees, there still is no proper facilitation center for the disabled people.