The Ogun State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development has given out wheel chairs, arm crutches, white canes, sewing machine, deep freezer, clippers, grinding machine and generators, as well as tablet for children with intellectual disability to support their reading aid, among others.
The Commissioner in the Ministry, Hon. Adijat Adeleye while distributing the items to the beneficiaries under the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) across the three Senatorial Districts at the Women Development Centre, Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta, said the gesture was in commemoration of the year 2023 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PWD).
She stated that the mobility aids and working equipment would improve the standard of living of the beneficiaries to make them self-reliant while focusing on strength and abilities, enjoining them to make judicious use of the items with the opportunity to have a sense of control, purpose and be able to be self-independent.
“I am imploring you to make judicious use of these tools which would support you in sustaining your livelihood, allow you to influence decisions and for you to have direct control of your lives, which is the only way you can reciprocate government’s kind gesture for this support”, she said.
Speaking on this year’s theme, ‘’United in Action To Rescue and Achieve The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG’s) For, With And By Persons with disabilities’’, Hon. Adeleye said the essence of the Day was to promote the rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities at every level of society and development and to raise awareness of persons with disabilities in all aspects of lives.
According to the Commissioner, ‘’Efforts are underway to ensure that registered members are enrolled in the Ogun State Health Insurance Agency (OGSHIA) at subsidised rate to provide quality health care services and ease burden expended on medication, she also hinted that database of their members would be compiled to enable government plan for necessary interventions.
In her address, the State House of Assembly Chief Whip and Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Omolola Bakare assured PWDs of presenting and passing of bills that would improve all aspects of their wellbeing and ensure they are protected saying,’’ they should look beyond their challenges and in unique ways channel their energy on what they can do best in peculiar areas such as sports, entertainment and technology to enhance their financial stability’’.
In his remark, the Chairman, JONAPWD, Dr. Michael Ebohun, appreciated the State government for priotising and celebrating the Day, saying the stigma of discrimination by members of the public had caused social and attitudinal barrier in getting employment, noting that the empowerment of mobility aids and working equipment help reduce poverty and increase economic stability among members.
Some of the beneficiaries appreciated the state government for empowering them towards ensuring their access to education, businesses and mobility, as well as giving them equal rights among others.