Lilongwe district commissioner (DC) Lawford Palani has asked community members and duty-bearers in the district to include persons with disabilities in various activities.
The DC made the call on Saturday during the district’s commemoration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities at Khokhwa Primary School in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mazengera in the district.
Said Palani: “It is important to commemorate the day considering how neglected persons with disabilities are in communities.
“We should remember that these people are part of us, so we need to include them in our activities and not neglect them.”
However, he condemned some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for their alleged lack of direction and focus, saying they just promote their own agenda and not the welfare of people in the district.
“NGOs should borrow a leaf from Miral Welfare Foundation which has shown commitment to assist government in uplifting the livelihoods of persons with disabilities in the district, which is exactly what they signed up for when coming to the district,” said Palani.
Lilongwe Mpenu Nkhoma legislator Collins Kajawa (Malawi Congress Party) agreed with Palani, saying persons with disabilities should be included in various activities.
He said persons with disabilities have the potential and capacity to achieve anything just like any other person.
Said Kajawa: “The country’s laws say that every person has equal opportunities, equal rights and equal access to facilities and services.
“For that reason, as a constituency we will plan to support persons with disabilities.”
On his part, Miral Welfare Foundation country director David Jeong described the day as important, saying it goes a long way in promoting rights of persons with disabilities.
“The day also helps to raise awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in political, socioeconomic and cultural aspects,” he said.
Established in 2012, Miral Welfare Foundation is working with over 300 people with disabilities in T/A Mazengera by providing vocational and technical skills and early childhood development services.