My name is Zahida Hameed Qureshi, I belong to Multan. When I was one year old I had polio due to which both of my legs became paralyzed, so now I conduct my chores with the help of wheelchair, but I never let my disability take control over me. Even though I faced difficulties on every step but I never made these problems a barrier for me.
I got educated in an inclusive environment till my university. I did my MA in economics from Bahwaldin Zakriya University. I always worked hard and had faith in Allah, because of this passion Allah created options for me and I was successful. I did my metric in science subjects and passed with good numbers. After that, I did my FA and BA from Government Degree College. I was regular independent student. If you have will to do so then Allah also creates way for it. My siblings used take me to school and I am very thankful to them.
Due to building being inaccessible I faced difficulties realizing my problem my professor Dr. Karamat who was the chairman of our department supported me and got a ramp made till my department for the motorcycle to reach. UNFORTUNATELY, in western world everything is shown accessible unlike in Pakistan due to which disable people cannot do anything freely.
After completing my education when I entered the professional life a lot of institutions rejected me on the basis of my disability. I did not give up and continued to search, Allah opened up new doors for me and today I am working in SPO. In this institution without any precious disabled people are included and I am very happy. Along with my job I am working for disabled people as this passion was in me, to impart what I have learned from my education and experienced to other disabled people and especially focused on women with disabilities as I myself a woman.
I have made an institution for disabled people which are known as Society for Special Person. Disabled people are their best advocate with this thought I opened up this platform so that they can express their problems in a better way so that they can struggle for their rights more strongly. They should not become burden on society and their family, they should try to create opportunity for themselves and help the country. In 2007, my DPO on the basis of self help was established.
My DPO is working on basic human rights of disabled people. This DPO has done multiple things up till now we have conducted a survey of 3000 disabled people in south Punjab and also got financial help from other organizations. This DPO did a lot of work for flood victims. In field of cricket their members got position and gifts. In different meetings and conferences carried out by government and NGOs members of DPO participated in them and lightened people with their views and suggestion. This DPO with the help of other organizations gave wheel chair and sewing machines to their members for skill development. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani also appreciated the efforts of these people. Disabled people should not be ignored as a charity case.
Through the platform of this DPO I submitted my suggestions regarding disabled people in Pakistan in an UN Conference and planned a strategy for coming 10 years. In 2010, keeping in mind the upcoming floods I unformed NDMA with my views for the affected disabled flood victims, NDMA took my views seriously and included in guidelines. With the support of MPA Malik Ahmad 2ooo disabled people were distributed the cheque of 50,000 RS with the help of BAIT UL MAAL the purpose of this was to encourage independent living an economic opportunity. In Multan this institution is the only that works with honesty for disabled people. This DPO is working for non disabled people along with disabled people.
Zahida Hameed this while talking to this agency here on Thursday, said that her society had been playing the role of facilitator for the provision of wheelchairs and tricycles to special persons. “We distributed 315 wheelchairs among deserving persons, including women. These wheelchairs were distributed in Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh, Multan and some other cities of south Punjab,” she pointed. She stated that National Bank of Pakistan, Baitul Mal, Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP),Rotary Club and others organisation had offered wheelchairs to the society. She informed that they had received 100 applications for tricycles as the persons wished mobility to earn livelihood or acquire education. Zahida Hameed appealed to philanthropists and donor organisations to donate tricycles and wheelchairs for special persons as the new year sets in.