Visually handicapped hit by tsunami ignored, says researcher
"Can you name even a single event or organisation that was dedicated
on behalf of the visually handicapped tsunami victims in the aftermath
of the catastrophe?; asked Prof. Dr. Aurangzeb Hafi, a world renowned
Addressing the media at the Holiday Inn on Wednesday, he said there
were 100 organisations working in Sri Lanka with relief work and about
500 post-tsunami projects were started under their programmes.
"But not even an ordinary event, a single discussion or a documentary
was devoted to the visually handicapped caught in the tsunami," Dr. Hafi
"In this scenario, Pakistan is the first country to come forward with
a complete strategic plan for the visually handicapped among tsunami
victims," Dr. Hafi said.
Dr. Hafi who was engaged in several fact finding surveys during the
last eight months in the aftermath of the tsunami, has presented his
brief summary of Tsunami Child Retardation Risk Assessment and
Management Projects (CRRA) and (CRRM) for the attention of higher
authorities including WHO and UNICEF.
"In every field of work we have to see who has been left behind.
Disabled people are also a part of our society. Raise your voice on
behalf of these unborn babies, all under five years and handicapped who
can't raise their voice to protect their rights and to save them from
the risk of multiple disability in the aftermath of tsunami," Dr. Hafi
E. M. Navaratne Sri Lanka Visually Handicapped Association (SLVHA),
President said: "We want to minimise the risk of anyone going blind. At
present there are two homes for the visually handicapped in Hambantota
and Godawaya. What SLVHA is asking the Government is to implement a
seperate ministry only for the disabled".
SLVHA advisor Dr. Wickrema Weerasooria, Tourism Ministry Secretary,
Dr. P. Ramanujam, and SLVHA Vice President Alex Jayawardene were also