ASIA/PAKISTAN - An interreligious meeting for the blind

Thursday, 30 December 2021 human rights   disabled  

Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - "We blind people face rejection in our daily life; many people do not come forward to greet us or shake hands. We feel rejected when we see that the rights of blind people are not respected. We are faced with so many challenges, especially living as a disabled person is a pain in itself. We have organized this interreligious Christmas program for the blind to make them feel that they are not alone, that they have not been forgotten. This gathering is a time to celebrate and spend time together to share the joy of Christmas with our blind friends": this is what Fides learned from Dr. Sabir Michael, who is blind, a well-known promoter for human rights on the occasion of the Christmas meeting held in recent days in Karachi.
Sabir Michael, a Catholic who holds a Masters in Social Work and a PhD in Sociology at the head of the NGO "Peace Development and Welfare Association", organized the event in collaboration with "One Release International" Canada, the National Commission " Justice and Peace "(NCJP) of Karachi and "Jesus Youth Pakistan" to bring the joy of Christmas to Christians, Muslims and Hindus. During the meeting, 40 disabled people were helped with a cash gift (2000 Pakistani rupees) on the occasion of Christmas. The blind shared the Word of God, sang psalms and Christmas hymns, and after the awards were presented, they had lunch together.
Speaking of the challenges blind people face, Sabir Michael said: "Society can only be called 'civilized' when it accepts and supports disabled and marginalized people. We raise our voices for their rights. It is a painful experience, the most shameful thing is the two percent work share on public works, reserved for the blind, has been removed by this government. We appeal to the government of Imran Khan to immediately restore this quota of jobs and work for the representation of the disabled".
"I also appeal to Church leaders to work towards a Braille Bible in Urdu, the national language of Pakistan, which is needed to strengthen our life of prayer", notes Sabir Michael.
Fr. Asher Liaquat, Director of NCJP Karachi, speaking to Fides, said: "I appreciate Dr. Michael and the organizers, for reaching the excluded during this Christmas time, without any discrimination. Christ came for all human beings. God himself at Christmas reached the excluded and marginalized to show them his love and mercy". (AG-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 30/12/2021)