INAUGURATION OF DEAF COMPUTER LEARNING CENTRE AT PAKISTAN ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF.
Date: 7th May, 2008
Members: More than 100 (including executive committee and members)
Special Guests: Mr. Mohammad Raza Haroon (Minister I.T), Mr. Hanif S. Kalia, Mr. Abdul Haseeb Khan, Dr. Saira Bano, Ms. Huma Bukhari etc
Stage Secretary: Kamran Tariq
Sign Language interpreter serves as a bridge between deaf and hearing community. Therefore, three sign language interpreters were present in the inauguration ceremony.
Arrival of guests took place at 10:00 a.m. Kamran Tariq thanked all people for their attendance. Mohammad Ismail (Deaf member) recited a surah from Holy Quran.
PAD’s president Mr. Irfan Mumtaz gave a brief introduction about PAD. For the first time in Pakistan, Computer literacy program for the deaf was started in 1999. PAD received 12 computers in donation. He said that PAD is very thankful to Ko-Ordination Group for supporting them and donating 8 latest Pentium – IV computers. Now the students would be able to meet their requirements. He said that PAD’s associate members all over Pakistan are also willing to establish computer centers for imparting the knowledge of information technology to the deaf community. Ko-Ordination Group, PAD and government can collaborate to help the deaf community. Irfan Mumtaz highlighted the importance of bigger land for PAD’s future projects. He added that the lab needs a multimedia projector, 3D AGP cards and graphic pen. Talking about the donors and well wishers he said that personalities like Mr. Zaigham M. Rizvi (Chief Patron – PAD), Brookes Pharmaceuticals, AKD Securities and Twairqi Steel Mills are supporting us in our cause. We are happy that KRG has also supported us.
Dr. Saira Bano (KRG) said that Ko-Ordination Group is trying its best to impart knowledge of information technology in Pakistan and has established many centers all over Pakistan. This is first time for KRG to support a deaf association. KRG has donated the latest computers to PAD according to their needs. Deaf people are doing very well. Dr. Saira Bano thanked Ms. Huma Bukhari for her motivation to KRG to help PAD in this regard. Dr. Saira said that government should exempt 15% tax on computer accessories. In this way computer would easily be accessible by everyone. She stated that Ko-Ordination Group has established centres in Baluchistan as well. In the end, Dr. Saira Bano thanked Ms. Fazila Shamim (Interpreter) for her continued support.
Mr. Abdul Haseeb Khan (Brookes Pharmaceuticals) informed Honourable Minister for Information Technology Mr. Mohammad Raza Haroon that PAD needs a bigger place to carry out their activities. He said that we requested City Government for the place but we haven’t succeeded yet. He requested the honourable minister to help us in this matter. Mr. Abdul Haseeb Khan assured of donating a projector to PAD. He also appreciated the talent of Mr. Asif (Graphic Designer) and his wife.
Mr. Akram was the Guest of Honour. He said that he has visited many places in the world and was happy to see that great work has been done for the disabled. Disabled people are getting benefit through assistive technologies and doing very well. He added that there are many schools and colleges in Pakistan that are given education to the deaf people but there is a lack of quality education. Quality education is must. We should also adopt the policy of inclusion.
Mr. Hanif S. Kalia – Chairman KRG appreciated Mr. Abdul Haseeb Khan’s efforts and said that he is an active social worker and works very well. He also appreciated Mr. Abdul Haseeb Khan’s work and support for the betterment of deaf community in collaboration with PAD. Mr. Hanif S. Kalia said that it is just a beginning. KRG will help PAD in future also.
Ms. Huma Bukhari appreciated Dr. Saira Bano’s continued struggle for the betterment of information technology in Pakistan. She said that she is very much impressed with Dr. Saira’s dedication. She added that she suggested Dr. Saira Bano to visit PAD and she was amazed to see such a nice work of deaf people and she decided to donate computers to PAD for computer learning centre. Ms. Huma informed participants about her membership with Lion’s club.
Honourable I.T. Minister Mr. Mohammad Raza Haroon showed his dedication for the development of special persons. He insisted that the word “disabled” should not be used for special persons because special persons can work equally as others can do. Talking about 2% disabled quota he said that this quota should be implemented truly. He emphasized people to give due respect to special persons. He said that special persons are given chance to acquire quality education and the use of assistive and communication devices in developed countries. Mr. Raza Haroon insisted deaf individuals to learn English language for effective communication. He assured of allotment of land and help for scholarship program to PAD. In the end, he said some words on the concept of inclusion.
There was a ceremony of plaques presentation. Mr. Hanif S. Kalia awarded plaque to Mr. Mohammad Akram, Ms. Huma Bukhari, Mr. Irfan Mumtaz (in place of Erum Jehan) and to Honourable Minister Mr. Mohammad Raza Haroon.