Thursday, 2nd June 2016: NOWPDP hosted an event titled ‘Moving People, Changing Minds’ to raise awareness about the need of accessible transport for persons with disabilities. The event bought together representatives from the government, corporate sector, non-profit organizations, media, and educational institutes.
While welcoming guests at the event, Mr Amin Hashwani, President – NOWPDP, said “Accessibility continues to be a major impediment for any society striving to become inclusive of persons with disabilities. Therefore, through our advocacy efforts, we hope to bring about sustainable change to the transport landscape.” Shedding light on NOWPDP’s efforts, Omair Ahmad, Director – NOWPDP, said “By drawing attention to issues of mobility in transport, the appropriate stakeholders can be made aware of the challenges faced, and subsequently their capacity built to prescribe solutions for all to be able to step of out of their houses.”
The event also marked the culmination of the Accessible Cycle Design Challenge, a nation-wide design competition for engineering and architecture students and professionals. “Problems are not bigger than solutions. We now have 58 solutions with us for differently-abled people within three months” Amin Andani – Manager, The Rickshaw Project, told the audience. The competition was won by Mr. Taufeeq Elahi Diju, an aspiring entrepreneur from Abbottabad, who secured the grand prize money of Rs. 200,000. The Most Innovative design was also recognized and awarded Rs. 100,000 grand prize money, recipients being students from PNEC NUST Karachi including Daim Ali, Bayan Mashrequi, Ahsan Iftikhar and Danish Haider.
Commenting on the competition, Mr. Khayam Husain, CEO Automobile Corporation of Pakistan and member of the competition’s jury panel, stated “The Accessible Cycle Design Challenge is a master stroke in bringing ‘creative awareness’ for mobility to persons with disabilities.” Mr. Shahid Abdulla, Principal Architect Arshad Shahid Abdulla, and member of the competition’s jury panel was also in attendance, remarking that “This is a very good initiative. I am constantly reminded that people of Pakistan can really work hard. One should work hard and do it right.”
Meanwhile, international members of the jury panel, Mr. Matt McCambridge, instructor at D-Lab Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Ms. Alice Teisan, Director His Wheels International, remarked “Tens of millions of people globally need a device such as this. Absolutely brilliant design work which could be a successful company” and “Some of the finished material were so good that they could almost be mistaken as a sales brochure for a finished product. Congratulations to all involved.”
Top 30 designs from the competition were also exhibited at the event. NOWPDP is extremely thankful to the support extended by all its partners for the Design Challenge namely Pakwheels, Radio 1 FM 91, ADA Magazine, Institute of Architects Pakistan (IAP), Automobile Corporation of Pakistan, Indus Motor Company, AIESEC Pakistan, IEEE Pakistan and Access Exchange International.
For the way forward, NOWPDP aims to enter prototype development and ensure provision of the accessible cycles to persons with lower-limb impairments as soon as possible with the support of its wonderful network members.
View pictures of the event here: https://www.facebook.com/NOWPDP/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10157134961390454