Telenor Invited Bloggers at Disability Awareness Training & Iftar

Telenor Pakistan arranged a get together and Disability awareness Training for Bloggers on Friday, September 06, 2009. It was an honor for me that I was also being invited. Many bloggers were expected to attend the workshop but I was amazed to see that only a few could make it (although there was an Iftar Party as well:)). Apart from jokes, I don’t know the reason behind it but if Telenor was to arrange a concert or an SEO training program, I am sure the presentation hall would have been overloaded.

Let me just briefly describe the program. This training was in continuation of Telenor Corporate Initiative “Khuddar Pakistan”. The purpose of this program is to create opportunities for persons with Disabilities. As, they are initiators so, they have also hired a number of disabled person in Telenor and have become Pakistan most disabled-friendly organization.

Telenor LogoThis is not hidden to anyone that persons with disabilities are ignored in many areas of Pakistan or I should say everywhere in the country. When we meet a disabled person, we show sympathy, we ask different stupid questions like how this happened, what you are going to do in future etc. etc.  This not only hurts their self respect but they feel that they are worthless. Most of the parents of disabled person also do not encourage them their whole lives and these persons always consider themselves dependent and a burden on their families. The purpose of the training was to aware people of the capabilities of these persons and their dignity.

Telenor Khuddar Pakistan Main

The spoke persons of the training were;

Introduction to Telenor Khuddar Pakistan by Syed Hasnat Masood Director Corporate Communications & Responsibility, Telenor Pakistan

Disability Awareness Training by Atif Sheikh, President of Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP)

Mohammad Shabbir Awan (Visually Impaired) Talked about Assistive Technologies

Disabled people are faced with discriminations in different areas in life. This is not as per the intention of the society though. It is a very restraining and a damaging issue. There has been a need to make the disabled feel part of the society and due to this DAT was formed. The essence of DAT is to create awareness in the society that the disabled are part of them and therefore there is no need to discriminate them.

Perception of Disability

The society is not yet up to the expectations of treating the disabled as part of them, but treats them as people who require separate and special provisions. This attitude leads to the misunderstanding in the society today between the disabled and none disabled. DAT has made great efforts to educate people on the meaning of disability, identification of required changes and their respective implementation in the society for the sake of the disabled.

Definition of Disability

Medical Social
Views disability as an individual problem with no discrimination between the disability and the impaired “Any social or economic depravation that came across the individual was located to the individual and their own impairment ” Considers an individual more to their impairment in relevance with all the factors which affect them as an active member and one who can participate in the society building. The disabled are entitled to being positive hence increased self esteem. This is the work of the social model.

Though, there are many rights of disabled people but I will just point out a few and I hope that we will take care of these. The disabled people have the right;

  • to live independent lives with dignity.
  • to protection from discrimination, violence and exploitation.
  • to equal employment with equal salary/wages for equal work.
  • to participate in social, cultural, political activities of the society.
  • to care to maintain their emotional, intellectual and emotional health and amenities which enable them to have physical access to public facilities.

I will just windup the article with few sentences. The worst enemies of the disabled people are the other people. It’s nothing new that disabled persons have been treated and seen as ‘special’ from other human beings. Social responses always kept most of the disabled persons in isolation in their whole lives. We have different perceptions in our society about the disabled people. Some call them ‘gift of Allah’; others call ‘the result of a sin’. Its time, we should start treating these people equal and same as other human beings. We should encourage impaired people to participate in every field of life like other people. Instead of showing sympathy, give them confidence.

I would like to appreciate the efforts of Telenor Pakistan and express gratitude for inviting us to the Disability Awareness Training program. I hope that Telenor will continue the program with same spirit and may Allah give us spirit and courage to support them in this cause.

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10 Responses to "Telenor Invited Bloggers at Disability Awareness Training & Iftar"

  1. Phyza says:

    Great effort by Telenor. I think so different mobile networks and even whole telecom industry should take a step for such kinda programs like “Khuddar Pakistan” .. I remember few years back i took a part in a weekly program by Zia Awan for children and women who are homeless and i enjoyed it a lot as i got a great chance to interact with such people and i salute Zia Awan for his efforts too. He even made me top volunteer of this program and awarded me with a certificate by Zia Awan and UNICEF.
    I look forward to read some more posts related to such awareness programs and trainings.

  2. saba says:

    very good effort by Telenor. they must keep doing this kind of good work to create awarness.

  3. Maria says:

    It’s just another publicity stunt…

  4. Great Post Zaheer. Your Blog is always worth reading because of the fresh & visual contents. And I must appreciate here Telenor as well for organizing this event which will surely encourage the disabled people to contribute towards the development of the nation.

    Thanks again Zaheer for covering and sharing this event.

  5. Shahzad says:

    Wonderful effort by Telenor. I am amazed with the feeling how disabled can actually contribute so much!

  6. Shanz-aye says:

    hats off to telenor. no charity but sheer efforts. wonderful!

  7. Shanz-aye says:

    could be. how about we also think positive?

  8. khan says:

    This is a great initiative. Having spoken to someone who attended the bloggers event, I can safely say that it was less about Telenor and more about giving dignity to persons with disabilities. The focus was not on Telenor at all and was all about disabled persons, their perspective, how they want to be given opportunities, dignity, etc.

  9. Ayesha Sajid says:

    It is really important the acknowledge the presence of the disabled community. We need to look at our perceptions and behaviors in order to set the record straight. While we are aware of people areound us with disabilities, we don’t ever stop to notice the behavioral problems they face on a daily basis.
    Bloggers play a significant role in changing these perceptions. It is encouraging to see here that when an effort is made to generate awareness, there is mention of corporate sector participation.

  10. Kashif Hafeez says:

    Zaheer, Thank you so much for posting this on your blog. Khuddar Pakistan is one of a kind program by Telenor Pakistan that intends to actually make a difference in terms of awareness, integration and inclusion by promoting dignity and abilities of the persons with disabilities (PWDs). Bloggers interest to the disabled community will make a huge contribution to create awareness and to break the attitudinal barriers faced by the PWDs in everyday life.

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