Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities, Pakistan

Vision: To promote the creation of an inclusive society which values and upholds the rights of people with disabilities through sustainable endeavors and a holistic approach driven by clear social objectives. Mission Statement: People with Disabilities have equal access to opportunities and are an integral part of society. Objectives - Generate a greater level of awareness about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. - Create economic empowerment for persons with disabilities by fostering greater commitment levels. - Advocate the rights and needs of persons with disabilities to the State. - Build capacity of disability organizations to meet their objectives.
May 2, 2016

Creative young minds hard at work! - May 2016

Students hard at work at screen printing training
Students hard at work at screen printing training

Dear Supporters,

Your continued support towards training students with disabilities, from our partner schools, to learn the skills of weaving and textile design has been our biggest motivation in achieving our goals in the first semester.

The training sessions were initiated at three schools, beginning from February. The three month long training now draws to an end in all three schools, which will be culminated by an exhibition to promote and encourage the hard work of our trainees.

With your generous support and motivation, we have been able to touch the lives of 70 students with disabilities to enhance their skills and have a positive impact on their psychological wellbeing

Weaving Training:
Weaving training sessions are being conducted at two schools with students with intellectual impairment and multiple impairment. The training is designed to help children with disabilities to develop a sense of confidence and belief in their own abilities. Moreover, there is notable improvement in their fine and gross motor hand movements. Students with intellectual and/or multiple impairments have much to learn from these training based on their day-to-day conduct and personal growth. The training was instrumental in improving their behavior at home and at school. Weaving training also helps students in maintaining focus and attention. Students looked forward to their training sessions, completing their projects and making new intricate designs.

Textile Design Training:
Textile design training involves techniques like doodling and screen printing, which was imparted to students with hearing and speech impairments. The training is designed to equip students with skills that are relevant in the market. The training was more focused towards apparel and its specific style of design.  Students enjoyed learning the techniques of doodling and screen printing and were excited to prepare the final product. An exhibition was also organized by the school to sell the prepared apparel line, which was a great success!

Way Forward:

Based on the learning gathered from the training, the textile design module is being modified to introduce computer-based designing as a part of the textile design course. We are also planning on taking more schools on board for textile design.

Beneficiaries:

Weaving Training:

“We have noticed an improvement in Maham’s fine motor skills, she can now grip much better than before because of the weaving training.” – Maham’s mother

“Involuntary movements are also controlled through these activities, as well as fine and gross motor skills of these trainees.” Dr. Shaista, Occupational therapist at a partner school.

Success Story – Textile Design and Screen Printing

ANUM

Anum is one of our success stories at our partner school. Anum has a mild intellectual impairment and has been in training with heARTwork since a year. Due to her constant improvement and grasp of designing skills, Anum has been promoted from weaving training to textile design. She can work with different textile techniques, including patchwork, weaving and design composition.

Anum is a team player and helps out her peers in design development. She works with the most challenging patterns and layouts, surprising us with her incredible work. She is an inspiration to all students in training, and hopes that some day she can become a designer.

 

Thank you for supporting the students with disabilities in this venture to give them a chance for a better, brighter future!

Mar 21, 2016

Project Update - March 2016

Baithak in Baldia Town led by Imran
Baithak in Baldia Town led by Imran

Dear Supporters,

Your support has been a great source of motivation in enabling us to truly ‘Put Persons with Disabilities in the Driving Seat’. Ever since our Project has graduated into a full-fledged Program, we have been striving to address the various mobility issues faced by persons with disabilities (PWDs) and spread awareness about and advocate their needs and rights. We are immensely thankful to you for your time and contributions and hope you will continue to support us.

The highlights of the November-February quarter are as follows: The Rickshaw Project focused on final planning and execution of the ‘Accessible Cycle Design Challenge’, continued facilitating research by Access Exchange International on ‘Transport to Schools for Children with Disabilities’, continued with sensitization sessions, executed a series of impromptu and informal public awareness-raising sessions titled ‘Baithaks’ and made critical decisions on the legislative front.

 

Final Planning and Execution of the Accessible Cycle Design Challenge 2016

With some Partners and esteemed Jury Members already on board for the Accessible Cycle Design Challenge, many more exciting aspects came into being this quarter. The aim was to disseminate awareness about the Challenge and to elicit maximum registrations and engagement throughout Pakistan with the support of generous Partners.

Our promotional partners have been of great support throughout especially FM91, ADA Magazine and Pakwheels, who generously provided us coverage on radio, print and digital media. With the immense support of our Campus Engagement Partners, AIESEC and IEEE, not only were more than 20 Engineering and Architectural universities engaged across Pakistan, but ambassadors were also selected from them to facilitate the Design Challenge sessions at their respective universities and disseminate awareness.  The Rickshaw Project team visited 14 universities across the country, where promotional sessions for the Accessible Cycle Design Challenge were conducted. Some of these universities include: 

  • Lahore University of Management Sciences – LUMS (Lahore, Pakistan)
  • Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Sciences and Technology – GIKI (Topi, Peshawar)
  • Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture – IVS (Karachi, Pakistan)
  • Pakistan Navy and Engineering College – National University of Sciences and Technology - PNEC NUST (Karachi, Pakistan)
  • NED University of Engineering and Technology – NEDUET (Karachi, Pakistan)
  • Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences – PIEAS (Islamabad, Pakistan)
  • National University of Sciences and Technology, School of Art Design and Architecture – NUST SADA (Islamabad, Pakistan)
  • University of Engineering and Technology – UET (Lahore, Pakistan)

Although the Jury had almost been finalized by the last quarter, some more esteemed experts were added to the Jury panel, namely:

  • Mr. David Jaffee – Inventor of Smart Wheelchair and Associate Director Alex Tung Memorial Assistive Technology Laboratory, Stanford University, USA
  • Ms. Alice Teisan – Founder and Executive Director His Wheels International, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, USA  (she has lived with an invisible disability for 24 years)
  • Mr. Shahid Abdulla – Principal Architect Arshad Shahid Abdulla (ASA) and founding member Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture, Kidney Centre and Hunar Foundation, Pakistan

The digital launch of the Design Challenge began from 1st January 2016, before which teasers were shared to stir up curiosity amongst audience regarding our upcoming campaign. On 13th January 2016, a Media launch was held at a private hotel in Karachi to disseminate information about the Challenge and NOWPDP, among representatives from the Corporate, Government, Non-profit, Media and Educational sectors. Great support was witnessed from the attendees especially Mr. Tuaha Farooqui - Secretary Transport and Mass Transit – Government of Sindh, and Mr. Shahid Abdulla, our esteemed Jury Member; both of whom expressed how essential accessibility is to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the mainstream society. The event was covered by a number of media outlets.

The registration phase of the Accessible Cycle Design Challenge ended on February 15th with more than 150 registrations (60% group, 40% individual) and over 350 participants. Weekly sessions with registered participants were held at the NOWPDP premises to  keep them engaged, clarify any queries they may have pertaining to aspects such as design elements, production cost etc. and ensure submission good quality of designs.

It was also decided to name the Project this Design Challenge was the first phase of, the “Accessible Cycle Project”. As mentioned in the previous report, the Challenge would be followed by Prototype Development and Market Availability of the accessible cycles. This way the final product will be made available to its beneficiaries and its impact on their lives gauged with necessary tools.

Facilitating research by Access Exchange International

Having submitted two schools’ case studies already to Access Exchange International’s (AEI) global research on ‘Transport to Schools for Children with Disabilities’, The Rickshaw Project submitted three further studies and was also featured in their January 2016 Quarterly Newsletter. The Rickshaw Project has been further asked to draft two chapters in AEI’s upcoming Guide for the Transport of Children with Disabilities to Schools, for which its interns are working tirelessly.
 

Sensitization Sessions

Sensitization or ‘disability awareness-raising sessions’ were held for AIESEC & IEEE Executive Body Members and Ambassadors from Engineering and Architectural Universities recruited through them before they disseminate information about NOWPDP, The Rickshaw Project and Accessible Cycle Design Challenge among their circles. A lecture was also delivered by The Rickshaw Project Team at Karigar Training Institute (where the team drivers had received their training) and NED University of Engineering and Technology’s Urban Day regarding disabilities and etiquettes of engaging with persons with disabilities.
 

Baithaks

‘Baithaks’ is the name given to the impromptu and informal awareness-raising sessions that The Rickshaw Project team began conducting at public spaces across Karachi in November to generate awareness about the rights of PWDs, and the everyday challenges they face, especially with regards to mobility. Instead of the usual formal session, a guerilla marketing tactic was used which would begin with an argument between two PWDs from The Rickshaw Project team - one in favor of earning a respectful living and the other leaning towards begging. A crowd would gather while the debate would continue and slowly people would start speaking up, leading to a full-fledged discussion on disability and the challenges surrounding it.

The aim is to spread awareness in all towns of Karachi step-by-step. Till date, 30 Baithaks have been held in Baldia Town and Jamshed Town – a total of 12 Union Councils and 410 people reached. Apart from inculcating basic disability etiquettes, these sessions will provide The Rickshaw Project and therefore NOWPDP with an opportunity to collect data pertaining to public perceptions about PWDs and the need for their inclusion in the society.

 

Legislation

Previously, The Rickshaw Project had decided to take a legal stand by challenging the Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1965 (which disallows persons with disabilities from getting commercial driving licenses) in court with the support of Public Interest Law Association of Pakistan (PILAP) and a young talented lawyer, Mubariz Siddiqui. Since NOWPDP strongly believes in a collaborative approach and given its strong connections in both the public and private sector, a consultative meeting took place between our team and leaders of the Transport and Traffic Police Department.

The Secretary of Transport & Mass Transit, Mr Tuaha Farooqui, DIG Traffic, Dr Amir Sheikh, Secretary of Provincial Transport Authority, Mr Ghazanfar Ali Qadri and DIG Licensing Branch, Dr Aftab Pathan, along with Mr Amin Hashwani, President NOWPDP and Omair Ahmad, Director NOWPDP were in attendance. The problems faced by persons with disabilities in receiving driving licenses were discussed and how their on-road access can be facilitated. The government officials showed their receptiveness to provide maximum possible support to NOWPDP in their vision to promote an inclusive environment for persons with disabilities. The Rickshaw Project also prepared a comprehensive document for the Government of Sindh’s Transport Department containing recommendations to enhance the on-road access of persons with disabilities in Sindh.

 

Beneficiary quotes & stories

  • Baithak testimonials :

    -
    “I will correct the Zakat system (payment made annually under Islamic law on certain kinds of property and used for charitable and religious purposes; also one of the Five Pillars of Islam) in the mosque which previously catered to persons with disabilities with a sympathetic and charitable approach” (Imam of Mosque in Baldia Town, Karachi)
    - “I heard about the Baithak held in my neighborhood and would be delighted to have the team conduct it in the Police Academy.” (Police officer in Baldia Town)
    - “Please conduct another Baithak here soon.” (Town Counsellor of Ittehad Town in Baldia Town)
  • Encouragement provided by Imran, Supervisor - The Rickshaw Project, to person with disabilities in his social circle in favor of education and gainful employment led to the following results:

    - Two girls in Baldia Town started attending school after provisions were made for accessibility in their school, they were given wheelchairs and their parents were made to realize the importance of education
    - A resident of Baldia Town, also an ex-employee of a famous spices company, became completely paralysed but was able to move around and start a small business selling confectionary items after he was given a wheelchair.
  • Students from various universities in Karachi who were participating in the Accessible Cycle Design Challenge visited the NOWPDP premises and interacted with The Rickshaw Project team to understand the issues prevalent in the current Cycle and elements related to its re-designing.


I hope you enjoyed reading the updates as much as we enjoyed executing the activities. Your continued support is essential in allowing us to take our mandate of on-road accessibility and inclusion as a whole forward. Please spread the word as much as you can and in case of any queries feel free to drop us an e-mail at info@nowpdp.org or find us on Facebook and Twitter (NOWPDP and The Rickshaw Project).

Thank you very much!

Vishal and Anwer leading Baithak in Baldia Town
Vishal and Anwer leading Baithak in Baldia Town
Audience discussion at Baithak in Jamshed Town
Audience discussion at Baithak in Jamshed Town
Consultative meeting with Traffic Police leaders
Consultative meeting with Traffic Police leaders
Team lecture at Karigar Training Institute
Team lecture at Karigar Training Institute
Accessible Cycle Design Challenge Launch event
Accessible Cycle Design Challenge Launch event
Secretary Transport pledges support
Secretary Transport pledges support
Design Challenge session at PNEC NUST, KHI
Design Challenge session at PNEC NUST, KHI
Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture session
Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture session
Design Challenge session at Mehran UET Jamshoro
Design Challenge session at Mehran UET Jamshoro
Design Challenge session at FAST NUCES Islamabad
Design Challenge session at FAST NUCES Islamabad
Design Challenge session at PIEAS Islamabad
Design Challenge session at PIEAS Islamabad

Links:


Attachments:
Dec 22, 2015

Project Update - Oct 2015

Sensitization at The Lyceum School
Sensitization at The Lyceum School

Summary of The Rickshaw Project’s Activities

The Rickshaw Project graduated into a full-fledged program, working on two core elements - Sustainable Mobility Solutions and Legislation for persons with disabilities. Furthermore, it continued its efforts on the community engagement front with the aim to increase acceptability of the two aforementioned elements by sensitizing people regarding persons with disabilities.

The major highlights of this quarter included conducting sensitization sessions and community engagement, facilitating research by Access Exchange International on “Transport to Schools for Children with Disabilities”, preparing to file a petition in court challenging the Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1965, planning Pakistan’s first Accessible Cycle Design Challenge, and capacity building of The Rickshaw Project team.

Sensitization Sessions and Community Engagement

A series of sensitization sessions titled “The Barriers Made Me Stronger” were conducted across three educational institutes in Karachi, namely Institute of Business Management & Technology (BIZTEK), The Lyceum School, and Institute of Business Administration (IBA). Members of The Rickshaw Project team, who are persons with disabilities themselves, shared their personal stories and interacted with the students and faculty members to minimize the stereotypes about persons with disabilities and also to gain support for legalizing driving licenses for persons with disabilities through signing the petition. The total reach of these three sensitization sessions was approximately 170 students.

Additionally, the members of The Rickshaw Project team worked to enhance the understanding of disability and persons with disabilities in their communities, and encourage persons with disabilities in their communities to avoid begging and earn a livelihood by pursuing respectful professions.  

Research on “Transport to Schools for Children with Disabilities”

The Rickshaw Projected was selected in July 2015 by Access Exchange International (AEI) to become a representative of Pakistan, facilitating the global research on “Transport to Schools for Children with Disabilities.” The project is headed by Tom Rickert, Executive Director, AEI and the project team includes global experts and practitioners on accessible transports from around the world. Interns working with The Rickshaw Project conducted qualitative research under the supervision of The Rickshaw Project team to develop case studies. Subsequently, two schools’ case studies were submitted to AEI.

Filing a Petition in Court to Challenge Restriction Against Driving Licenses for Persons with Disabilities 

The Rickshaw Project decided to take a legal stand by challenging the Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1965 in court. The vagueness in the ordinance restricts persons with physical impairments from getting commercial driving licenses. Additionally, the ordinance also disallows persons with hearing impairments from getting a driving license in Pakistan, despite the fact that more than a 100 countries around the world allow that.

At present, Public Interest Law Association of Pakistan (PILAP) and a young talented lawyer, Mubariz Siddiqui, are helping The Rickshaw Project in bringing this case in the court of law. Danishkadah, a Pakistani NGO which works for people with hearing and speech impairments, has also come on board as one of the petitioners.

Capacity Building of “The Rickshaw Project” Team

Four members of The Rickshaw Project team completed a two-month long Mechanic Training Course at Karigar Training Institute, which was customized for people with disabilities and helped the trainees enhance their understanding of the tools as well as techniques required for effective vehicle maintenance. The Rickshaw Project team members received certificates at an award ceremony, in which they also delivered a motivational talk to more than 50 trainees. 

Additionally, three members of The Rickshaw Project team members underwent a three-week English language course delivered by members of the NOWPDP team, in which they learned the words and phrases that helped them in delivering motivational talks.

Planning Accessible Cycle Design Challenge 2016

The idea to launch a nationwide tricycle design challenge was initiated in July 2015. Results of preliminary research conducted by The Rickshaw Project indicated that the current tricycle used by persons with disabilities is highly accident-prone, uncomfortable, incompact, aesthetically unpleasant, and requires a lot of exertion.

Following the research findings, planning of the challenge commenced with some exciting results. In order to enhance its sustainability, the project was divided into three phases – Design Selection, Prototype Development and Market Availability. The artwork was also finalized once the following partners successfully came on board, while talks with sponsors and promotional partners continued:

  • Automobile Corporation of Pakistan (Design Implementation partner)
  • Access Exchange International and Institute of Architects Pakistan (Strategic partners)
  • Pakwheels (Online partner)
  • ADA Magazine (Magazine partner)

The Rickshaw Project was also able to have renowned national and international figures join its Jury for this challenge, some of which include:

  • Dr.  Christopher  (Kit)  Mitchell –  Former  Head  of  Accessibility,  Transport  Research Laboratory (UK) and Recipient of William B. Graham Award
  • Khayam Husain – CEO Automobile Corporation Pakistan, a company leading in vehicle customization
  • Somnath Ray –  Winner of MIT Humanitarian Award for Design Innovation and Innovator of Mobile-Commerce Tricycle in India
  • Janett  Jiménez –  Renowned  Accessibility  Consultant  in  Mexico  and  Country Representative, GAATES

The challenge, which will be running from January 1st to March 31st 2016, aims to find the most accessible cycle design that enhances the mobility of persons with lower-limb impairments and empowers them by providing them on-road access. The challenge will be open to all however participants must keep the design features (less accident-prone, requires less exertion, comfortable, compact and aesthetically pleasant) and production cost (under PKR. 10,000) in mind.

Rickshaw Replicas

The Rickshaw Project team continued working on adding artistic elements to the rickshaw replicas which also includes their short stories. Various guests visiting NOWPDP were gifted these replicas as a token of appreciation which they highly valued.

Beneficiary Quotes and Stories

Sensitization Sessions:

“The session made me realize that if provided the right opportunities, persons with disabilities can excel like everyone else” (Student at IBA who attended a Sensitization Session)

“Delivering these sessions served as a great confidence booster as I was unable to speak up before. The appreciation received from students and teachers also felt great” (Vishal – Workshop Assistant at The Rickshaw Project)

Community Engagement:

Encouragement provided by The Rickshaw Project team members to persons with disabilities in their respective social circles led to the following results:

  • Mohammad Ali started as an electrician
  • Rauf works in garment factory
  • Syed Ali and Abdul Waheed both started driving rickshaws and are now called ‘cheetahs’ of their community

Some persons with disabilities in need were identified by Imran, Program Supervisor at The Rickshaw Project, and were provided mobility solutions by the team resulting in the following success stories:

  • Ghulam, a resident of Baldia Town, who was convinced towards begging due to his circumstances, was given a retrofitted motorbike. He turned the motorbike into a multipurpose vehicle which he rides to the town’s center point and sells fried fish on it, which has allowed him to earn a livelihood for his family. 

Capacity Building of “The Rickshaw Project Team”

“The training was very beneficial as now we are able to fix any vehicle without worrying. We also learnt what the workshop tools are called in English” (Khalid – Driver at The Rickshaw Project)

“I found the English language course to be very helpful because we go to various places to conduct sensitization sessions and need to use the correct terminology to get our point across” (Anwer – Driver at The Rickshaw Project)

Sensitization at BIZTEK
Sensitization at BIZTEK
TRP Team attends Mechanical Training Course
TRP Team attends Mechanical Training Course
TRP Team and Special Olympics Pakistan Team at IBA
TRP Team and Special Olympics Pakistan Team at IBA
Sensitization at BIZTEK
Sensitization at BIZTEK
 

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