اتوار، 1 جنوری، 2017

Pakistan: Special Population AND Their Welfare سماجی بہبود اور خصو صی آبادی

Pakistan  have  a fast growing  population  like other developing countries  which is rapidly turning into rural urban population , since most of this tilt is unplanned , unmonitored or documented,  we see cities becoming  overcrowded  because people moving to big cities for earning opportunities, but this unplanned constant shift  is a huge reason for shortage of basic utilities  and services for citizens. With expanding population health care  concerns are greater than ever,  natural disaster and other accidents leave many disabled, then  a weak health care system let children slip into disability without intervention before or after birth.
 Disability physical or intellectual,  demands  more work from state and society, but in our situation where human rights are barely met for able bodied, and awareness is rare even for healthy citizens, disabled  persons become  more  vulnerable part of our society, which reflects in our educational and social welfare sector as well. There is a bait-ul-Mal, a Zakat system, but they are just symbolic departments and hardly reaching the  most deserving. 
Despite lots of  interest and a few good initiatives from  provincial and federal  governments,  there are only a handful institutes and organisations which are  delivering any results for special population in Pakistan.  There are a only few schools in big cities, which are  more for physical rehab facilities  for polio stricken ,  and there are also a few exclusive schools for blind, or  deaf and dumb children which provide education to these kids too. However inclusive education is still a dream for our special kids.
We have resources, manpower and need,  but not enough  legislative direction to to take up the task of providing welfare for mentally challenged and physically crippled,  that's how we see more people living with disability without any shelter to prevent , protect or even rehab.
We need shelters , rehab services, and a well structured functioning  social welfare system, which finds people instead of asking people  in despair to  prove their handicap if they want services, like medical treatment, rehab , occupational therapy, and education as much they can avail.
For much needed fundamental changes in our school system and society regarding special people, We need to have research, campaigning  to spread awareness about Cerebral Palsy,  Down syndrome and ASD,  with other  associated  disabilities.
For more inclusive society and even more inclusive classrooms, We do not need to reinvent the wheel, our Armed forces  have rehabilitative set up, which  can work for civilians as well if we use same level of training for our teaching hospitals and  colleges where we train physical therapist, speech and occupational therapist.

Pakistan Situation : Early Diagnosis and Intervention For Autism Spectrum Disorder

"It's understandable that a parent may hesitate and want to give children time to mature, and a huge range does exist for typical development. Yet as scary as it may seem, it is better to get an evaluation done and, if necessary, to start services. If your child displays any of these possible symptoms, contact your paediatrician and seek evaluation by a developmental specialist:
• Language delays, such as no babbling as an infant or no words spoken by age 15 - 16 months. While most children with language delays turn out only to have language delays, an evaluation rules out other causes.
• Lack of gesturing to communicate or finger pointing by age 1.
• Lack of back-and-forth interaction. This includes experiences such as a child who does not respond to his name by age one, or lack of interest in (and initiation of) back and forth play as an infant (such as peek-a-boo).
• Lack of imaginative play as a toddler or in an older child.
• Loss of developmental skills at any time."
Says Dr  Mark Bertin,M.D. Board-certified developmental behavioural paediatrician, author
 Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-bertin-md/autism-early-intervention-makes-a-big-difference_b_5823064.html
Above article states the importance of early interventions in the matters of Autism, and other ASD conditions,.. However sadly in Pakistan there  are only few fortunate enough parents which can relate to have "early intervention" because in reality, our health care and social set up have a huge layer of problems which we have to scrape before we talk about "early intervention" in mental disorders and special education matters .
Some may say that now Pakistani community is more aware and people are talking about help and the right education for their special children, all this chatter is still, just at the surface and that also more due to the internet which is limited to  the educated and privileged computer literate strata which is  just fraction of the whole population of Pakistan.
A majority of our population have no education, knowledge or a system to catch these disorders at early, or even at a later stage.  Thousands of kids grow into adults with bigger problems than what they were born with. Poor  and  socio-rural  environment makes it even harder for these lives to thrive or find help. Cultural taboos and superstitions about their different appearance, behaviour make them isolated or victim of ridicule in most rural areas.Over all health care system is non-existent and not up to the pace of growth and concerns of a huge population.
At a time when we are already  talking about educational reforms in Pakistan , we must also consider and prioritise special education and early intervention as a mandatory part of  this reform. Under current government PEF and many other organisations are doing a good job in  education sector , however special education still  remains  an  issue  unaddressed. It is  about time that we make  urgent  laws and legislation regarding special population in Pakistan, from diagnosis, early intervention, to education and welfare of these special kids.
It should be a uniformed programme for all provinces and fata areas alike, as it is the  basic human right  for the lots of vulnerable Pakistanis. 

Pakistan Disability Care and Prevention: Basic Health Care System

Pakistan picture Regarding Disabilities :
Disabilities, mental disorder  and health issues are spread in every section of our society, poor or privileged feel equally helpless when  they have to face a special child or physical disability of a loved one, life becomes a constant struggle in to the world of unknown and cold reality.
We can start and repeat one plan of action for all of our regions, as long we are willing to take our first step !
Solution Suggested:
Punjab have basic health care system available to it's residents since many years, which may not be seen as a solution to a huge population and its health needs, there are a few basic issue like professional negligence and mishandling of resources , then the ignorance and the lack of awareness in general public about diseases and conditions, which makes this system less productive than its  full potential, however we still can formulate , and  restructure a new more functional health care and welfare system on it's framework , as a welfare/healthcare reform we can add  infant mandatory testing  for developmental, and  other delays , so early intervention would be provided. Birth records/ testing results collected at basic health care centers  can be fundamental source for a more developing and healthy and equal society, which we all dream to have but without an inclusive, mandatory health and education network it is impossible to achieve!

Pakistan Human Rights

We, as a nation, can not afford to go on like this; the latest Thar dilemma and than flood and war in Waziristan are calling for a multidimensional plan from the State . This work can not be left to NGO's, even in such situations  it needs more check and balance when private NGO's do the development work. It is the urgent need of the time to set our priorities straight regarding basic human rights- which can only be  achieved by a state which implements laws and people who believe in service and volunteerism.Pictures1

Talk about Human rights situation in Pakistan and you will realize that from food to shelter, and from  health care to education, Pakistan have lost the plot sometime ago. Now it is a disastrous picture in every  part of the society. Terrorism and corruption have both destroyed any  framework we  ever had for development. Due to urbanization there is an increase in the uneducated and unskilled population shifting to fewer cities, causing  unhealthy and expensive living  conditions while burdening existing resources.  Earning opportunities are limited to the adult, most able members of the  population. We can also see an increase in poorer  seniors, children and disabled population  in total misery without any system to rescue them.    

Accessibility in Lahore Metro Bus vs Lahore Sight Seeing Bus

Recently  launched"Sight-Seeing Lahore Bus Service" are a  great compliment to a city which have history and modernity both. Since the start of this service it's been talk of the town and not only tourists locals loved the concept of a Double Decker and  exploring their city with  a new perspective.
  According to new SDG goals disability  and inclusion  are essential part of development .
Lahore is quick on change and  development under CM Shehbaz , in recent years we have seen "Lahore Metro" bus service which changed lives for many mobility wise, how ever as we are talking about accessibility it should start from the bottom, we have to include who are in most difficulty than an average person who can ride a bike , Rikshaw, or walk, our wheel chair bound population are more dependant on mass transport  for their daily mobility and dignified living, the new tour bus is better equipped for wheel chair persons, but Metro bus still have to provide accessible lift for boarding on and off  for people who have some kind of disability, or use a wheelchair for mobility.

Waqas Ahmed a bright Ravian and Chairman of A Disabled Welfare Organisation Lead by Youth "Pace 2 Life "  recently arranged a tour on "Lahore Sight Seeing " bus with many of disabled friends and their families, it was a very pleasant experience for all involved.

Waqas Ahmed says he misses the similar accessibility  for day to day mobility of disabled in Lahore Metro Bus Service . Disabled persons from blind to someone in a wheel chair  should be able to travel from one end of  the Lahore to another end without any  personal attendant.

Help Them Help Humanity !