As a special way of commemorating the year 2023 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Ondo State government through the State Agency for the Welfare of Persons with Disabilities, on Thursday distributed another round of empowerment materials to the special people.
The materials presented to the beneficiaries across the state are grinding machines, generating sets, POS machines, Hair dryers, among others, depending on their needs. All categories of special people including the Physically challenged, Hearing impaired, Albino, Visually impaired and Ago-Ireti, benefited from the government largesse.
At the event, the special people also offered special prayers for quick recovery and restoration of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu whom they described as their father.
Presenting the materials to the beneficiaries at the Agency’s office in Akure, the Ondo State capital, the Board Chairman, Princess Folashade Arise, particularly appreciated the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, for his unalloyed support and passion for the improved welfare of persons with disabilities in the state.
She equally charged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the materials so that they can become self-reliant and employers of labour, noting that the state government has done its own part by providing the empowerment materials.
Arise explained that the theme for this year’s celebration, “United in Action to Rescue and Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for, with and by Persons with Disabilities”, underscores the collective commitment to inclusivity and empowerment.
“It signifies a collaborative effort to ensure that development initiatives prioritize and actively involve individuals with disabilities. By embracing this approach, we strive to rescue marginalized voices, promote equal opportunities and achieve sustainable progress that leaves no one behind. It is a call for unity, recognizing that true development is only possible when everyone is an active participant and beneficiary.
“As we commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, let’s champion diversity, embrace uniqueness and cultivate a world where abilities are celebrated. Every individual, regardless to ability, enriches our global tapestry. Today, we stand together for inclusion, understanding, and a future where everyone can shine”, the chairman stressed.
Some of the beneficiaries including Akinola Oladimeji, Falodun Omolayo, James Esther, Module Onipede and Ashidi Powei, who could not hide their joy, appreciated Governor Akeredolu for always putting smiles of their faces, promising to make judicious use of the materials to better their lives.
The event also witnessed presentation of awards to deserving individuals for their commitment to the welfare of Persons with disabilities in the state.
Earlier, the administrative Secretary of the Agency, Mrs Morayo Bayo-Philip, noted that the event was to celebrate the remarkable contributions and resilience of individuals with disabilities, and also to reaffirm government commitment to building a more inclusive society where every person’s abilities are recognized, valued and embraced.
“Today, at the halfway point to the 2030 Agenda, persons with disabilities continue facing systemic discrimination and barriers that restrict their meaningful inclusion in all areas of society. Truly sustainable development for persons with disabilities requires a laser-like focus on their needs and rights – not only as beneficiaries, but as active contributors across social, economic and political life.
“This means ensuring that persons with disabilities are at every decision-making table, in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and across countries’ efforts to achieve the SDGs from poverty eradication to health, education and climate action”, she said
Also, the Desk Officer on Persons with Disabilities (PWD) NSCDC Ondo Command, DSC Igbekele-Olu Olufemi, explained that it is a serious human right issue as PWDs are subjected to multiple violations of their rights including acts of violence, abuse, prejudice and disrespect, warning that anybody caught discriminating against Persons with Disabilities would be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law.