Asad – A man who wants change.


Asad was just another child until at school he started to trip off and fall down too often, a few visits to the doctor revealed that Asad has Friedreich’s Ataxia a hereditary disease which causes progressive damage to the nervous system. At the age of 20 Asad was told he couldn’t walk any more and has been dependent on a wheal chair ever since.

But asad is a brave man, and he refused to give up on his dreams, he decided to beat his disability. Today, Asad is the head of the corporate social responsibility department for a technology company. He is also working to change the mindsets of people towards people with disability and has been giving speeches and holding talks in social gatherings, Schools and educational institution. He was present yesterday at a local café t2f where he shared his story, the difficulty he faced in the beginning and those he face today with a small group of people gathered at the venue.

When Asad was first put into the wheel chair, he says ” The wheal chair felt like a prison to me”. It took some explaining from the doctors and motivation from friends after which he decided to accept and learn to carry on with his disability.

During the session Asad pointed out that Pakistan is not very friendly to the wheelchair-bound people, as physically challenged people need to socialize freely, he said there is a need to improve their accessibility by changing the mindsets, changes which are required at hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, educational institutes and even at clinics as most of these places almost never have ramps that would allow such people to enter their premises. He further emphasized that laws are needed to bound builders and commercial shops and businesses to facilitate wheelchair bound people.       

Present among the audience one of the team members at CMPHR added that her organization too is working for the issue and students of a certain school constructed a wooden ramp to allow people in wheelchairs to enter the school, the students also donated another wooden ramp to a nearby medical clinic.

It was also mentioned at the event that The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol was adopted on 13 December 2006 at the UN headquarters in New York which was open for signature on 30 March 2007. The Convention adopts a broad categorization of persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. At present there are 119 signatories to the Convention but sadly our country is not one of them. CPHR has a petition available to sign here in this regard.

Also present at the event was Sabeena Jalal who is running a facebook based cyber support group called Beat Disability. The group is open to anyone who is either taking care of some one with disability or is living with any kind of mental, physical disability her/him self.

The session although a brief one was sure an eye-opener as 10% of our total population consists of people who are cooping with disabilities but they are almost never seen around because usually they are kept confined to their houses as they cant get on a cab, or board a bus on their own, they cant even enter any restaurant or park without someone’s help. They feel like they are not welcome in society. We should facilitate for them, we should keep them under consideration when building parks or clubs so they can socialize and do some of their daily tasks independently.

3 Comments so far

  1. balma on March 7th, 2008 @ 8:23 pm

    Almost all people in Pakistan are zaalim by nature. No yielding while driving, bad behavior with their help (servants), no regards for handicapped people, throwing garbage around, and so on. We are the most zaalim people on the face of this earth. Please, no bhaashans on rehem-dillee propogated in Islam! We are not good people by nature.

  2. pkman on March 7th, 2008 @ 9:04 pm

    I don’t about that Balma. I know plenty of people who are nice, kind, and caring. It could be that you have only known people of that ilk. I would also argue that there are "zalim" people everywhere, in Pakistan, India, Germany, Russia, the U.S. and Argentina, etc. However, where one finds one also finds their opposite, maybe in fewer numbers but they are there.

  3. shoaib on March 24th, 2008 @ 4:52 pm

    Yes its important that we realise that it takes time for people to be fully acquainted with the concept of PWD (persons with disabilities). It took 30 years for US to finally adopt it and it just started in 90s that the PWD started getting their due rights. In Pakistan, we have their rights but not in the formal way. They are respected and given due care. Now they are also been given preferece on jobs and other things plus they have quota.

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