LAHORE - Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) has launched an Enterprise Development Training Programme to improve quality of life of persons with disabilities by ensuring their inclusion in every aspect of life. Purpose of this nationwide programme is to impart useful skills trainings to persons with disabilities, says a Press release. Under this programme, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund would also help persons with disabilities to develop their own business plans under its Business Incubation segment and finance them to establish businesses of their own choice immediately after undergoing this skills training programme. Through its network of partner organizations spread across 128 districts of the country, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund has also launched a phased carpet survey to identify persons with disabilities and their inclination towards certain businesses. The technical experts assess the needs of persons with disabilities and based on their assessment, assistive devices, trainings were provided to persons with disabilities. Other than devices, persons with disabilities with general medical problems were referred to different hospitals at the local and national level under special arrangements. Attendant ship trainings for family members of the severely disabled were also given so that they were tended to properly without causing serious harm to the persons with disabilities or the attendant. As a pilot project, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund has imparted Enterprise Development Training to a batch of 42 persons with disabilities, which also included 14 disabled women, in Multan. Participants underwent an eight days training after which, 30 out of 42 have been provided financial assistance to start businesses in grocery, bengals, mobile accessories, tailoring, tailoring materials, etc. Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund has not forced any of the participants to start any sort of business but it coordinated and facilitated the trainees to undergo training of their choice and set up business of their own choice. Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund setup assessment camps for persons with disabilities in seven districts of Swat, Multan, Khairpur, Rawalakot, Manshera, Swabi and Karachi to identify specific needs of special persons. In Khairpur district only, over 3,500 people including females and children from three union councils of Kumb, Bapho and Jishani were identified of carrying various kinds of disabilities. Technical experts, optometricians, audiologists, physiotherapists, certified prosthetics & orthotics, psychologists, speech therapists and general practitioners volunteered their services at these assessment camps. During eight days assessment camp at Kumb only, over 11, 50 people were identified as with different kinds of disabilities and severity of their diseases was thoroughly assessed by respective technical experts at the camp. After assessment of disabilities, assistive devices, skills trainings and business incubation facilities will be provided to persons with disabilities. Technical experts say genetic, diseases and pre-mature deliveries are responsible for most of the disabilities. Due to extreme poverty and unawareness, family members of persons with disabilities are not giving them required attention and treat them as burden. Most of persons with disabilities are forced to beg to supplement their familys needs. Visit to any of such camps can definitely make one unable to hold his/her tears. The dependency of persons with disabilities is enough to move ones consciousness and immediately thanking the Almighty Allah for His countless blessings. Every person with disability had a shocking story. Experts say if persons with disabilities were treated as patients over 90 per cent of them could recover and live a normal life. Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund is trying to facilitate persons with disabilities and its efforts will boost their confidence to do something productive in their lives. Skills trainings of their choice and business incubation facilities will enable them to work for themselves and earn livelihood in a respective way. Provisioning of health and education facilities to these people is need of the hour. Basic education should be provided to these people. State-of-the-art special schools for persons with disabilities should be constructed in each union council so that they can get education. Their dependents should be provided attendant training. Moreover, flyers and broachers should be prepared for awareness and information of people about the handling and treatment of persons with disabilities so that they do not think persons with disabilities as liability. All this is possible by public-private collaboration.