The economic budget which has been presented poses challenges and threats for the PWD community in Gilgit Baltistan, no doubt about that. However, as I said in my earlier article, this will keep happening until the culture does not change, which will take time. So it is not a surprise – as the apple does not fall far from the tree. I do not want to use the premise that disabled people are excluded occasionally because I think a reader will get bored with it, or some will think it is ‘ clickbait,’ which is not our purpose or intention. It is the truth.
Nevertheless, as a well-wisher of the government, I would recommend that they can introduce a mechanism under which DPOs are allowed to collect funds from different sources without having financial difficulties; I think this would be the best way to move forward for the community, of course, provided that DPOs are accountable. That is an issue for Local NGOs, as many banks are hesitant to open a national bank account. This is the policy of local international NGOs such as the Glasgow Disability Alliance (https://gda.scot/about-gda/funders/)
The second piece of advice I have for the government is to implement the 3% quota immediately. The 3% quota for Persons with Disablities is not a hefty task; the documents are there. It is up to the government to implement this as soon as possible. Being in Pakistan, I understand there might be certain illusions, such as ‘Are they like us? I wonder if they have emotions. ‘ If this is the root cause, then along with skills development, we will offer advocacy support free of cost to the government for employees and employers.
The final piece of advice that I would have for the government is that the government should invest in human capital. If the government can invest with us in pulling human resources and mobilizing communities about disability inclusion, then nothing is impossible. Of course, this is the most critical factor we need to work on. Like I say to my team until we do not join hands, we can not have an inclusive Gilgit Baltistan.