An NGO, Hope for the Village Child Foundation (HVCF), on Tuesday in Kaduna, marked the World Disability Day by organising a day seminar to interpret the recently signed Kaduna State Disability Law.
The Deputy Director HVCF, Juliana Ekwanya, urged people with disability to be proud of who they were, as God specially created them that way.
She urged them to find joy in using some of their God given talents to make a difference in the society.
“They should not live in pity or see themselves as people that are not loved by God, as He has created everyone uniquely,” she said.
She urged them to develop themselves and also feel comfortable wherever they found themselves.
According to her, HVCF is working toward giving hope to those who the world sees as “nothing good can come out of them“.
Mr Michael Ogundele, Head of Unit, Special Needs, HVCF, said the programme was organised to commemorate the World Disability Day and to also interpret the Kaduna Disability Law and how to access it.
He said although the disability bill had been passed into law, PWDs were finding it difficult to benefit from it due to their lack of knowledge of what the law stood for.
“We take it upon ourselves to break it down and what they should do and also to interpret it to them to the level they can understand.
“They should know where to go if anything happens to them, how to claim their rights,” he said.
A lawyer, Grace Auta, urged PWDs not to lose hope, irrespective of the challenges they faced, pointing out that with the passage of the law there would be succour for them.
“So many of their rights that have been violated, it will now be addressed.
“Society also needs to be enlightened on how to go about treating people with disabilities fairly,” she said.
Auta noted that there were so many complaints from PWDs on how they were being unfairly treated in the society.
She said that the law sought to address the major challenges facing the PWDs through the State Disability Board.
She said the board would be saddled with the responsibility of investigating and making necessary referrals to relevant authorities for sanction or enforcement.
According to her, the board will also perform other functions as may be necessary to uplift the general standard of PWDs and effective implementation of the law.
“We need more advocacy to be carried for people to know the consequences of violating the rights of PWDs,“ she said.
She also urged the state government to ensure speedy implementation of the disability law, saying implementation has always been a challenge. ----NAN