5 March 2009 Business Recorder
The Network of Organisations Working for People with Disabilities Pakistan (NOWPDP) held recently an art competition, here. Themed ‘Meri Duniya Ke Rang’, the competition was held at the Aga Khan University Football ground, and was the first of three nation-wide art competitions organised by NOWPDP. The competition will be held in Lahore and Islamabad at later dates.
Prior to this, NOWPDP celebrated the International Day for Persons with Disabilities (December 3rd) with a series of capacity development workshops, followed by an open forum session for its member organisations. The activities culminated in a seminar on ‘Access and Employment,’ attended by civil society, corporate executives and the media.
Welcoming participants and guests to the event, Amin Hashwani, President NOWPDP explained that the purpose of the Art Competition was to address the marginalization of children with disabilities. “The idea is to involve children with disabilities in a social activity while providing them with an opportunity to exhibit their innate creative talents on a public platform,” he said. The competition helped create awareness of the issue and provided networking opportunity to schools and organisations working for people with disabilities.
Organisations and schools for children with disabilities across Karachi and interior Sindh were invited to participate. Over 120 students competed in the categories of Calligraphy and Painting, using pencils, crayons and water colours.
At the end of the competition, art works were displayed in an exhibition attended by families of the participants, government officials and prominent members of civil society. A small concert was also organised where talented blind singer Bilal Patel entertained the participants and guests.
Addressing the audience at the prize distribution ceremony, the chief guest, Minister for Irrigation and Power, Murad Ali Shah said that, “People with disabilities are not ‘disabled’; they have special abilities.” He also made a commitment to personally devote his time and support to the cause of people with disabilities and NOWPDP.
Reputed Karachi-based artists, Jabbar Gul, Mitra Birdie and Amin Gulgee, judged submissions on concept and medium of expression used. Winners in both categories were awarded art kits and trophies. T-shirts and gifts were also distributed among all participants. NOWPDP intends to feature winning artworks in their 2010 calendar.
NOWPDP, an initiative of the Aga Khan Council for Pakistan, works in collaboration with key stakeholders toward the improvement of the quality of life of people with disabilities in Pakistan, by facilitating socio-economic change and promoting complete inclusion and fulfilment of their rights.-PR