By Joy Mbachi
Awka – The Wife of Anambra Governor, Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, has advocated the introduction of governmental and non-governmental initiatives to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in all socio-economic development plans.
Obiano made the call in Awka on Tuesday in a message signed by Mr Emeka Ozumba, the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Willie Obiano, to commemorate the 2019 International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Obiano, who is the founder of Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFE), said that inclusiveness for PWDs could only be achieved through programmes that would encourage a paradigm shift in people’s mind-set.
She said that the act of pity for PWDs should shift to respect “because disability is a mere physical condition rather than an impediment.”
Obiano described the theme for this year’s celebration, “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030,” as apt.
According to her, the theme focuses on the empowerment of PWDs for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
She commended the pace setting stance of the state government in providing employment and political appointments to a substantial number of PWDs in the state.
Obiano said that inclusiveness of PWDs in all spheres of life, under the auspices of CAFÉ, had provided various forms of support, like training and empowerment, for them.
She further said that the NGO had given free prosthetic limbs to at least 2,000 persons and donated free mobility aids, like wheelchairs, to over 1,800 persons in partnership with the state government.
Also, the statement quoted Mr Chuks Ezewuzie, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Disability Matters, to have commended the governor for his inclusive governance, especially involving PWDs.
Ezewuzie said that PWDs in the state appreciated the governor’s directive to contractors to ensure that in future, new structures in the state, would be made disability accessible.
He further conveyed the gratitutde of the group to Obiano for making sure that other largesse were extended to the disability community in Anambra.