By Favour Nnabugwu
A nongovernmental organization, Poverty and Disability Initiative in Nigeria, (PADIN) has decried the increased rate of poverty among people disability in the country.
PADIN pained with the poverty rate of those living with disability promised to contribute their quota in filling the gap’
The NGO gave out over 360 crutches to persons living with disability at Karumajigi on Saturday
This much was said by the president and founder of the NGO, Olatunji Oladaya Lincoln while speaking with our correspondent on Saturday during the occasion of the distribution of clutches to people living with disability at the Disable colony, Karumajigi, a suburb in the Federal Capital Territory.
He maintained that there has been a lot of talk about taking care of the disabled once in Nigeria but nothing much has been done by the Government to alleviate the suffering of these persons, which he said prompted their Organization in collaboration with their partner, NCGI to deliver clutches to them, with the promise to make more deliveries in the nearest future.
He explained further, “I was born as a person with a disability, and if you look at over thirty million Nigerians that are persons with disabilities, we need people to fill the gap for them. The rate of poverty increases within the range of these persons within the disabled community is very high and alarming. Thank God I had the privilege to have gone to school.
And as the person with a disability that I am, I think I have to represent the thirty million people, I have to fill the gap too which is why you saw me here doing this for my people. They are my people,”
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Taiwo Ibukun Oluwa Okpeyo who is one of the volunteers for NCGI Nigeria, said, “Today we are partnering with PADIN to distribute clutches for disabled people here. Our main aim and objective is to hel people living with disability by giving them clutches, walking aides, and wheelchairs, and again we cater for elderly persons in our society. Most people have one form of deformity or the other.
Meanwhile, the project Director of PADIN, Christina Obinna Okafor explained why the choice of Karumajigi for the delivery of the clutches,
“We discovered that this Karumajigi is actually the disability colony in Abuja. This is where you have the majority of people living with a disability residing. So rather than going about seeking disabled people on the street we felt it is better we can come here”
‘When you talk to the chief there is actually somebody who is the leader of the people living with disability here which makes it easier to reach out to all manner of people living with disability, because they have them on record. Like you have seen they actually have the list, they have it typed out and it made our work easier.
She explained further that the joy they see on the faces of the recipients is what motivates them to want to do more, “As you saw on the NCJI T-shirt, we are sharing love, we are sharing passion, and we are sharing joy. It’s unbelievable the relief you see on the faces of these people.
“As we tagged it UNBURDEN, we are actually lifting off the burden of having to look for proteases for these people, because I don’t know when you look at them to get proteases like the clutches, or the wheelchairs it’s quite expensive. And so when you have these things and you can give it out to them you are actually lifting lots of loads.
The Country Director of PADIN in Nigeria, Paul Mubuchi Ogbonna on his own part stressed that the job of trying to alleviate the suffering of the people living with a disability does not end at shearing clutches, “As a matter of fact we are going to be bringing a lot of things on the table like entrepreneurship. We are going to bring the such thing to the table to make them understand that they can be more useful to themselves in spite of their disability.
“We plan to move a lot of them out off the street and empower them, giving them entrepreneurship spirit. And it all starts with teaching. Once you are able to impact knowledge and education into someone you have helped the person.