‘Education access, self-confidence, family support key to success for special persons’

The aim is to communicate to parents that providing an education for their special child is crucial for securing an independent future

ISLAMABAD  -  Stressing the significance of fam­ily support, access to education, exploration of unique abilities, and self-confidence as crucial el­ements for the success and em­powerment of special persons, Assistant Legal Advisor at Paki­stan Bait-ul-Mal, (PBM) Noreen Khan, stated on Wednesday.

In an interview with APP, she, who herself was born with a dis­ability affecting the left side of her body, stressed the impor­tance of launching an awareness campaign especially targeting parents of special children. 

The aim is to communicate to parents that providing an educa­tion for their special child is cru­cial for securing an independent future. It’s imperative that parents comprehend that their child’s uniqueness is not a burden on so­ciety; rather, it holds the promise of a positive contribution.

Recognizing and nurturing the latent talents of their spe­cial child becomes essential, as every individual has been be­stowed with distinct gifts by Al­lah Almighty. The responsibility lies in the identification and re­finement of these innate abilities to their fullest potential.

She noted that within PBM, there exists a specialized divi­sion committed to addressing the needs of individuals with special requirements. Parents facing limitations in educat­ing their exceptional children should have access to education stipends offered by PBM. The imperative lies in parents equip­ping their children with educa­tion to foster their self-reliance. PBM assumes the role of provid­ing educational stipends to cater to the specific needs of special children, guaranteeing their ac­cess to necessary education.

Highlighting her challenges in accessing various buildings due to the lack of ramps, she emphasized the necessity of having wheelchair accessibility in different shopping centers. Ensuring accessibility in diverse buildings becomes essential to provide convenience for individ­uals with special needs.

Born in 1980, Noreen was en­rolled in Al-Farabi Special Edu­cation Centre in Islamabad due to her physical limitations. After transferring to a regular girls’ school because of limited class options, she became acutely aware of her distinct physical condition. This marked the ini­tial instance when she encoun­tered various attitudes from dif­ferent individuals. 

While some regarded her with pity, others extended re­markable kindness. Apart from her family, Noreen experienced a lack of encouragement and acknowledgment during her school years, resulting in feel­ings of isolation.

After matriculation, she en­tered F.G. College for Women, Is­lamabad. College life was harder with multiple classrooms. In­terested in Arabic Literature and Islamic Studies, but distant classrooms posed issues. Her tardiness contrasted classmates. Arabic teacher advised subject change due to timing, showing sympathy. Faced diverse atti­tudes in education.

After LL.B from International Islamic University Islamabad, she faced advice on challenges for disabled women in law. En­couraged by teachers, she com­pleted LL.B and joined NAB as Assistant Director. LL.M (Corpo­rate Law) followed in July 2007. Drafted Accessibility Act for Pakistan Govt., contested 2008 General Election for National As­sembly, aiming to represent dis­abled segment. Provided legal consultation to NGOs like STEP and Milestone for impact.

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