As Pakistan continues to strive to pen its narrative as a resilient and inclusive country – one that not only tolerates diversity but thrives on it; one that does not only come together for caricatures but paints its story of defiance; and one that looks naysayers in the eye and establishes its existential identity – our actions and words need to go as hand and glove.
Inclusiveness is a theme that is not limited to religious, ethnic, linguistic, sectarian fault lines but permeates into the realms of disability. When it comes to being ostracized, people with disabilities are no strangers, having borne the brunt of perceptional bias as one of the largest statistical minorities in the world.
In Pakistan, more than 18 million are people with disabilities, a figure that is nearly the population of Karachi – one of the biggest cities in the world.
Perceptions need to be revised and success stories established – so sympathy evolves to empathy and apathy becomes social action.
– Amin Hashwani