The observance of White Cane Safety Day is a reminder to us all to our responsibilities towards those special persons who suffer from visual disabilities. It is also an occasion to create awareness about the problems and needs of the visually handicapped persons and to step up efforts to address those problems.
The visually impaired have taught us two fundamental lessons. One, to be grateful that Allah has bestowed on us a life free of any disability and two, to doggedly fight the battle of life despite hazards and challenges.
On this day, we appreciate and admire the great courage of special persons who refuse to surrender before disabilities. We appreciate the white cane as the symbol of defiance against disabilities and a proclamation that no disability is too great to conquer human will.
I call upon everyone to show greater consideration for visually impaired persons and make efforts to ensure their integration in the society. We also need to compare the standard of care we give to the visually impaired people with that available in other civilized countries and take urgent and practical steps to achieve the same standards in caring for them.
The Present government has taken some measures to fight blindness and help integrate those afflicted with impaired vision in the mainstream of national life. A number of projects for the prevention and cure of blindness have been undertaken to meet the millennium goals. Steps have also been taken for the education and rehabilitation of the visually impaired people. But much more needs to be done.
I wish to commend all those individuals and associations who are engaged in the task of rehabilitation of the disabled. I also call upon the people and relevant government agencies to step up their efforts to address the problems of the visually handicapped people.