When I used to hear the word “disabled”, I visualized a human being who is unable to talk, hear or walk like other healthy individuals. But after participating in the gathering of special children, arranged by Catering and Restaurant Association, my perceptions towards children and adults with disabilities have changed significantly. When differently-abled individuals are brought up and trained properly, they can live a healthy life and contribute to society.
The first monthly gathering of this initiative was arranged by Nadeem Caterers at Qaddafi Stadium Lahore Restaurant. At the gathering, special children were accompanied by several renowned personalities: Qasim Ali Shah, a motivational speaker, writer and trainer, Shahid Qadir, a social worker and Director Complaint Cell Chief Minister Punjab, and Abdul Ghori, Branch Head of a private bank joined the cheerful audience.
Qasim Ali Shah appreciated the initiative, “In today’s materialistic society, events like this should be encouraged. We need to eliminate selfishness from the society.
“People brag about their achievements and qualifications, but I feel more proud after spending a full day with these children who are smarter and more intelligent than many of us,” he stated.
For Mian Nadeem, the organizer of the event, the gathering was more than just a CSR activity. He shared, “For me, this experience is spiritually reviving. Just spend some time with these children and encourage them for their achievements and see how motivated they feel. I can’t express it in words how satisfying it is to see them smiling. Everybody should take part in such activities and experience the joy of giving.”
Besides motivational speeches and discussions, special children were given flowers and gifts for representing Pakistan at various international forums. Shahid Qadir, Director Complaint Cell Chief Minister Punjab, shared Ishfaq Ahmed’s quote to convey his message: “You give to the creature of Almighty not from your own earnings but from what is given to you by your Creator.”
In today’s fast-paced life, we have become so occupied with our own affairs that we hardly pay attention to others and think of helping them. As a part of this society, we need to build up a support system for differently-abled children so that they could also live a healthy and productive life.
It is estimated that, overall, between 500 and 650 million people worldwide live with a significant impairment. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 10 percent of the world’s children and young people, some 200 million, have a sensory, intellectual or mental health impairment. Around 80 percent of them live in developing countries.
The article of mine was originally published in The News International – 9 Mar 2018 (https://www.thenews.com.pk/magazine/us/289886-the-joy-of-giving)