Nkechi Chima, Abuja
The Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, on Monday, donated 100 white canes for the visually impaired in the FCT to commemorate the International Day of White Cane.
The Supervising Minister, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar made the donation to commemorate the International Day of White Cane Day in collaboration with the Nigeria Association for the Blind (NAB) in Abuja.
The Minister who was represented by Director of Rehabilitation from the Ministry, Mrs Nkechi Onwukwe said 40 White canes would be given to School of the Blind Jabi.
She also said 40 White canes would be given to Government Secondary School (GSS) Kwali and 20 white canes to NAB, FCT chapter.
“As part of the Ministry’s efforts to make the visually impaired marketable in labour market and encourage Braille Literacy, we established Braille Press and Libraries in six location in the country.
“I am using this opportunity to call on professionals in Braille Education and Library who know how these centres can be utilised to partner with the Ministry.
” The significant of Braiile Literacy to the independence of the Blind in any society cannot be over emphasised,” Abubakar said.
She however called on the beneficiaries of the device to put them into use by ensuring that they move with them always, adding that road users and pedestrians should be alerted and provide necessary assist persons using Cane on the road.
The Chairman of NAB, FCT chapter, Mr Obinna Ekujureonye said the day was to demonstrate the significance of the white canes to the blind and to promote awareness on the independence and contributions of individuals that are visually impaired to the social economic life of the community.
The School of the Blind, Principal, Mrs Regina Dunge called on government to make the environment more conducive for the visually impaired in the country.
The Chairman of the Joint Association of Persons With Disabilities, Mr Suleiman Abdulmumuni called on the Federal Government to improve the welfare of the Person With Disabilities as there are numerous challenges.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Ifeoma Anagbogu said the ministry attaches importance towards the welfare of the visually impaired through various programmes and activities.
Anagbogu was represented by Director Economic Services, Mr Idris Abubakar said the Ministry had distributed various kinds of Assistive Devices and Economic Empowerments tools to Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) which includes White Cane of different varieties.
“Today’s event which is largely educative and information will no doubt awaken the consciousness to our responsibility towards the disabled especially the visually impaired and engender greater involvement in promoting and protecting their welfare, ” she added.
Anagbogu said the blind like other law abiding citizens are also entitled to use infrastructure provided for the common good, adding that they need to use the road and move freely to earn a living and engage in other social activities.