1.Training And Employability Of Persons With Disabilities
It has been observed that illiterate or low qualified persons with disabilities have very thin chance to get suitable employment. To solve the unemployment problem of low qualified persons with disabilities, spring has begun a programme with a name training and employability of persons with disabilities. Spring has initiated this project with bright spire, which is an online job portal where job advertisements of various companies can be posted.
In this programme, spring has initially sensitized employers of bright spire about disability. After this sensitization workshops, spring has assisted bright spire in searching suitable candidates with disabilities, who will get training on data entry. These trained persons with disabilities will receive jobs in in the bright spire and will get income according to their amount of work. Recently, spring and bright spire have extended scope of this programme and now, they are also giving training to persons with disabilities on digital marketing and tax filing procedures.
2.General Election 2018 Observation With Election Commission Of Pakistan
As a part of gender and disability forum of election commission of Pakistan, spring has taken part in the observation 2018 general election of Pakistan. In this regard, spring has trained round about 500 youth all over Pakistan. These youth then act as observers for spring and ECP and has observed all activities before the election, on the day of election and post-election. They have been given responsibility to inform about accessibility situation of polling stations, the behavior of polling staff with persons with disabilities and accessibility of polling material. These observers have given detail report about their observation of election, which spring has presented in different forums related to the 2018 general election of Pakistan.
Not only this, but spring has also sensitized nearly 800 polling staff about disability. It has also supported ECP in the publishment of accessible election material, which has been available more than 2,000 polling stations across Pakistan. It has similarly assisted ECP in making non-accessible polling station accessible by providing portable rams for approximately 1,000 polling stations. Spring has likewise initiated awareness sessions with the help of ECP, in which it has tried to inform persons with disabilities about the correct method of voting, especially the procedure to use ballot posting.
3.Observance Of World Sight Day
On every second Thursday of October. World observe a day for visually impaired persons. The main objective of this day is to discuss issues face by visually impaired / blind persons and try to find sustainable solutions to these problems. With the same goal, spring has observed 2018 world sight day with Rawalpindi chamber of companies and industries (RCCI). In this activity, pspring has distributed white kanes among approximately 100 visually impaired / blind persons with the support of RCCI. Spring has also organized a seminar on world sight day, in which different speakers have shed light on the hurdles experienced by visually impaired / blind persons in getting suitable jobs. The chief guests RCCI president and assistant commissioner of Rawalpindi have ensured to support in making proper legislation for employment of visually / blind persons.
4.Observance Of World Polio Day
On every 24 October, world observes polio day with an aim to sensitize public about causes of polio and inform regarding obstacle’s encounter by persons with physical impairments. As in the last 10 years, spring has observed this year world polio day with a rottery international club at national council of arts, Islamabad. The theme of this year polio day has been made life accessible. Spring experts have described the members of a rottery club that how inaccessible homes and buildings can create hurdles in the mobility of persons with polio and how spring is working to ease these barriers. The president of the rottery club has appreciated the efforts of spring association and has given support for making buildings in Islamabad. Accessible.
5. Asian disabled sports Tournament In India
Disable sporting society has organized Asia wheel-chair tournament in India. In this competition, wheel-chair cricket teams from Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka have fought for the title of Asian king. The main purpose of arranging such an event is to highlight the cricket skills of wheel-chair players in front of the world and to convince the private sector to invest for the development of sporting activities of persons with physical impairments.
As a part of disabling sporting council, spring has got chance to send wheel-chair cricket team from Pakistan. For this tournament, spring has selected those players, who have performed very well in the regional wheelchair tournament arranged by spring. The selected players have got chance to represent Pakistan in global event and to increase their enthusiasm, spring has arranged various meetings with high officials of government such as governor Punjab, sports minister e.t.c. This official has appreciated the efforts of spring and has given best wishes for the performance of the team.
Spring has also arranged wheel-chairs for cricket team and for this, Baitullah has sponsored wheel-chairs. Spring has likewise planned to organize three-day fitness camp for wheel-chair team in Lahore. In this camp, experts have worked on the fitness of players and have also guided techniques and strategies, which can help the team to perform well. Spring has similarly arranged cricket kits and transportation of these players with the support of various sponsors. This team has left the country for India on 25 December 2018 through Waga border and has participated in the tournament from 28 December 2018 to 05 January 2019.
6.Accessible Schools Mission
Ikrar-ul-hasan, the anchor of one of the biggest media house, has initiated a programme to make schools for children of terrorism affected families. For this, he has selected 16 schools in Rawalpindi division, in which he has provided all needed facilities. Spring has partnered Ikrar-ul-hasan in his great initiative and has supported in making these schools accessible for persons with different disabilities. In this regard, spring has constructed rams in the entrance area of every school as well as make doors of classes and washrooms accessible for wheel-chair students/. Spring has similarly provided disability awareness pieces of training to faculty and administration of these institutions so that their teachers can be equipped to manage student with any disability.
7.Accessible Railway Station In Rawalpindi
The railway is thought to be the most affordable mean of transportation, in which any person can travel anywhere in Pakistan without any hustle. The biggest issue in this medium of transportation is the unavailability of accessible railway stations and trains, which creates barriers for persons with disabilities to use this mode of transportation. Spring management has raised this matter with the railway authority of Pakistan. The railway ministry has endorsed point raised by the spring and has made spring as its disability consultant for making accessible railway stations in Pakistan.
The first railway station, which spring has elected for accessibility is Rawalpindi station. The reason behind this selection has been its geographical importance. First of all, it acts as a railway station for the capital of Pakistan and secondly, it manages public from both cities i.e Islamabad and Rawalpindi. In the initial phase of accessibility project, spring has improved ram condition at the entrance of the station and has also given disability sensitization training to staff of this station. In this training, experts have informed about wheel-chair maneuverings, positioning of a passenger with physical impairments in wheel-chair and sign-language gestures, which can support railway staff to manage passenger with any disability.
Spring has similarly established disability help button, with the help of which passenger with any disability can receive all sorts of assistance from station staff. Spring has likewise made the ticket counters and washes rooms accessible by reducing lengths of the desk at counters and Increase width of doors of toilet’s. For the guidance of passenger with visual and hearing impairments, spring has arranged notice-boards with brail and sign-language gestures. These boards have been displayed at main areas of the station so that it can assist the passenger with a disability. The key initiative, which spring has taken under this project, is making trains accessible. In this regard, spring has provided powerlifter to the management of this station. Through this, any passenger using wheel-chair can easily move into the train.
Through above-mentioned projects, spring has achieved targets in the following thematic areas.
1.Social Empowerment of Persons With Disabilities.
The best initiative, which spring has started in 2018 has been the introduction of discount transportation cards for persons with disabilities in Punjab. It has recognized as stepping stone in the initiation of accessible transportation in Pakistan. Spring has up til now distributed more than 3,000 discount transportation cards among persons with different disabilities and still collecting data of persons with disabilities for making their cards. These cards have helped persons with any impairments to travel all over Pakistan without any heavy burden on their pocket, which in result supported in the independent mobilization of persons with different disabilities.
As spring has begun diverse projects for improving social empowerment of persons with disabilities in Pakistan but the most praised initiative has been the inauguration of the first accessible railway station of Pakistan. Up to now, round about 700 persons with disabilities have traveled through the accessible railway station. It is expected that the number of beneficiaries will increase as spring will make more railway station accessible. The person with disability belong to poor strata will benefit more from this initiative because it will help the poor person with the disability to move to those areas, where he/she can receive employment.
Provision of education to youth with diverse disabilities is a major issue in Pakistan. Nevertheless, the establishment of accessible schools in Rawalpindi division by spring has introduced inclusive education in the region. Through these accessible schools, approximately 400 students with disabilities is receiving schooling facilities. In these schools, youth with disabilities are not only receiving formal education but also getting training regarding their personality development.
2.Economic Empowerment Of Persons With Disabilities
In Pakistan, persons with different disabilities generally experience hurdles in getting suitable employment. With the help of training and employability of persons with disabilities programme, spring has tried to overcome this key issue by enabling more than 150 persons with disabilities to earn a respectable livelihood. Spring has planned to extend this initiative in other cities of Pakistan so that more youth with disabilities can benefit from this programme.
Through observance of various disability-related days, spring has sensitized different companies regarding economic issues of persons with disabilities. These efforts have helped in recognition of these obstacles by the private sector and have assured full support in mitigation of these problems.
3.Political Empowerment Of Persons With Disabilities
Its first time in the history of Pakistan that we have observed more active participation of persons with disabilities in the electroral process and we have achieved this landmark With the help of various election awareness initiatives for persons with disabilities by spring. In the 2018 general election, approximately 8% of persons with disabilities have used their voting right and more than 3% of persons with disabilities have voted through ballot posting. It is also the first time that persons with disabilities have contested the election on general seats of national and provincial assemblies.
Spring has also worked on the legislation of persons with disabilities in Pakistan. In this regard, spring has drafted a comprehensive law for persons with disabilities. This law includes policies for economic, social and political empowerment of persons with disabilities as well as the provision of basic human rights of persons with disabilities in Pakistan. Up till now, spring has persuaded more than 8 biggest political parties of Pakistan for passing disability act in lower and upper houses of parliament.