Pakistan have a fast growing population like other developing countries which is rapidly turning into rural urban population , since most of this tilt is unplanned , unmonitored or documented, we see cities becoming overcrowded because people moving to big cities for earning opportunities, but this unplanned constant shift is a huge reason for shortage of basic utilities and services for citizens. With expanding population health care concerns are greater than ever, natural disaster and other accidents leave many disabled, then a weak health care system let children slip into disability without intervention before or after birth.
Disability physical or intellectual, demands more work from state and society, but in our situation where human rights are barely met for able bodied, and awareness is rare even for healthy citizens, disabled persons become more vulnerable part of our society, which reflects in our educational and social welfare sector as well. There is a bait-ul-Mal, a Zakat system, but they are just symbolic departments and hardly reaching the most deserving.
Despite lots of interest and a few good initiatives from provincial and federal governments, there are only a handful institutes and organizations which are delivering any impactful results for special population in Pakistan. There are a only few schools in big cities, which are more for physical rehab facilities for polio stricken , and there are also a few exclusive schools for blind, or deaf and dumb children which provide education to these kids too. However inclusive education is still a dream for our special kids.
We have resources, manpower and need, but not enough legislative direction to to take up the task of providing welfare for mentally challenged and physically crippled, that’s how we see more people living with disability without any shelter to prevent , protect or even rehab.
We need shelters , rehab services, and a well structured functioning social welfare system, which finds people instead of asking people in despair to prove their handicap if they want services, like medical treatment, rehab , occupational therapy, and education as much they can avail.
For much needed fundamental changes in our school system and society regarding special people, We need to have research, campaigning to spread awareness about Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome and ASD, with other associated disabilities.
For more inclusive society and even more inclusive classrooms, We do not need to reinvent the wheel, our Armed forces have rehabilitative set up, which can work for civilians as well if we use same level of training for our teaching hospitals and colleges where we train physical therapist, speech and occupational therapist.