Bolgatanga, Jan 30, GNA - The Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled (GSPD) at the weekend inaugurated its Regional Youth Wing in Bolgatanga, with a call on government to give priority to the passage of the Disability Bill.
The Upper East Regional Director of ISODEC, Mr George Akundikiya, who chaired the occasion, made the call on behalf of the Society. He indicated that the Disability bill was laid in parliament before the People's Representation bill and wondered why it had not yet been passed.
The Regional Director of ISODEC observed that the disabled formed part of the society and when empowered, could play a significant role in the socio-economic development of the country. He urged politicians to stop paying lip service to the bill and to rather hasten its passage.
Mr Akundikiya further indicated that the delay in the passage of the bill could be attributed to the lack of befitting social infrastructure for the physically challenged, saying, if that was the case the Government should make it clear to the public and hasten to put such infrastructure in place to enable it pass the bill. The Upper East Regional Director on Action Disability and Development, Mr Andrews Daware, bemoaned the way and manner many disabled, especially students on campuses could not access Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
He said able-bodied students in the country's tertiary institutions have access to computers whilst their colleagues who were disabled could not access such facilities, emphasising that it was a clear case of discrimination.
He impressed upon the GSPD not to relent in its effort to fight for the rights of its members.
The National Youth Chairman of GSPD, Mr Charles Kojo Ofosu, called on the government and other stakeholders not to engage the disabled in the non-formal sector alone, but also engage them in the formal sector. He pointed out that, there were many disables who went through the formal sector and were excelling very well in their jobs.
Mr Ofosu enjoined the Regional Executive to work assiduously to get more of their colleagues to join the Association.
The Regional Youth Wing Chairman, Mr David Ania, explained that the main purpose of the formation of the GSPD youth wing was to bring together all physically disabled youth in Ghana to serve as a pressure group to address problems confronting them.
He commended the media for their recent positive reportage on issues affecting the disabled and urged them to do more. Mr Ania appealed to the regional office of the National Youth Council (NYC) to involve the disabled in their activities.
Responding, the Regional Youth Coordinator, Mr Daud James Abang-Gos assured them that his outfit would involve them it programmes including their recruitment into the leadership and skill training institutes. The NYC, he noted, would also register them as a recognised organisation with accreditation. He indicated that the Youth Council would also liaise with relevant agencies to support their programmes and offer them technical support.
Mr Abang-Gos further stated that his outfit would help provide recreational needs, advocate job opportunities for skilled but unemployed members, and lobby policy makers to formulate favourable policies in their interest among others.