Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - We must show affection and take care of people who live with disabilities; we must also empower them and continue to support them in the challenges of their life. This is the main reason why we have brought them all together to spend time with them, to make them feel the love and mercy of God and encourage them to live life to the fullest, in the midst of all the challenges of their lives and despite the disability": this is what Fr. Ashir Iftikhar, Director of Caritas of Karachi and parish priest of the Church of Saint Michael in Karachi, says to Fides. On behalf of the local Church, the organization, thanks to the contribution of some benefactors, provides wheelchairs, social assistance services, food aid to people with physical and mental disabilities, without any distinction between those belonging to Christian or Muslim families. The Director states: "Ours is not just a social service; we intend to create awareness in society so that people with disabilities are appreciated, encouraged and empowered, and not marginalized". Karachi Caritas has organized a specific assistance program for disabled Christians and Muslims. Mansha Noor, executive secretary of Caritas Karachi speaking to Agenzia Fides, declares: "Thanks to the presence of numerous volunteers, we try to put into practice the passage from the Gospel of Luke (Lk 6:36) which reads 'Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful'. We also encourage family members of people with disabilities to view these individuals as a blessing to their families rather than a burden. And not to make them feel rejected". According to the Caritas program, people with disabilities often meet, spend time together, get to know each other, spend a time of communion to find inner peace and share a festive meal together, in an atmosphere of friendship and joy.
In recent weeks, Caritas has provided 37 wheelchairs to 26 Christians and 11 Muslims with disabilities, while also distributing food aid. In addition, people with disabilities are educated about precautionary measures to take in circumstances such as natural disasters and to safeguard their lives in case of any emergency situation. "Our mission is to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy and exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms on equal terms with others", concludes the Executive Secretary. (AG-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 21/2/2022)