Two differently-abled Qatari activists on Thursday said “everything is possible if we all work together” to support, counsel and help differently-abled people bounce back in life.
At a Webinar hosted by Qatar Stories to mark International Day of People with Disability (IDPD) in Doha, experts from different fields said family, society and institutional support could help integrate differently-abled people to in the main stream of life.
Speaking at the online event, Doha-based Disability Rights Advocate Nawaal Akram said,
“Everything is possible if we work together. For the development of the world we need to integrate disable people. We need to highlight the contribution of people with disabilities.”
Inspiring differently-abled people, Nawaal cited names of famous philosophers, artists and musicians who succeeded despite their disabilities.
“Beethoven composed some of his famous symphonies after he lost his hearing. He had the same mindset and talent even after he became deaf,” she said.
Sharing her life experiences on the challenges differently-abled people face, she said,
“I have seen both sides of life. Disabled people have given a lot back to the society, but most people forget to acknowledge and that we are part of the community.”
Sasol’s Accessible Qatar Ambassador Abdulrahman Al Yafei spoke on the challenges differently-able sports people face and the role of sports federations in supporting them.
“Respect people with disability, don’t feel sad for them. We can do everything others do, but we do it differently,” said Al Yafei.
He shared his experiences and the accident in 2004 that caused the disability. He resumed competitive sports in 2006 and went on to win more than 40 medals in javelin and table tennis.
Webinar anchor Anu Sharma lauded Al Yafei’s activism that ensured Souq Waqif manager marking dedicated parking slots for disabled people and facilitating hand bikes for other athletes.
Indian Community Benevolent Forum Advisory Council Chairman Dr Mohan Thomas spoke on the United Nations’ IDPD theme ‘Building Back Better: towards a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post covid-19 World’.
He highlighted Qatar’s work on empowering and supporting people with disability. He mentioned the steps taken by the Supreme Council of ICT grant equal access to people with disability and enrich their lives.
“People with disability should not be excluded from education and other spheres of life. Qatar has taken many proactive steps. Let us vow on IDPF that there is nothing without them (people with disability),” said Dr Thomas.
ACADELO Founder and Certified Process Communication Model Trainer Benhur Rao shared how he encourages people with disability, whether congenital or a result of an accident, to bounce back in life.
In his presentation ‘Overcoming Disability by Bouncing Back Emotionally’, Rao spoke on the seven stages a person with disability goes through when he/she first becomes aware of it.
“Governments and civil societies should ensure people with disabilities are not exploited,” said Rao, and suggested vocational reservations for people with disability “to make the world a better place together”.
Hamad Medical Corporation PMR Department Senior Consultant
Cricket Association for the Blind in India President Mahanthesh GK summarised the successes of his association and its players despite
“no regular funding from either from the government or the Indian cricket board”.
Indian Blind cricket team’s captain Ajay Reddy, who has played in four World Cups, told how he overcame his disability and negative thoughts of ‘why me?’ once he excelled in cricket.
World Dwarf Games gold medallist (powerlifting) Ruhi Shingade said,
“God has made us disabled, but he has also given us power.”
Indian Para badminton player Mark Dharmai, Mouth Artist Srilekha Mandalapalli,
International Business Delegation Finance Director Shamseer Hamza and Qatar based pharmacists Namsheer Badery also spoke at the event.