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Initiative for Raising Awareness, Development and Assimilation of Handicapped (IRADAH) was established in 2001 to provide support to the disabled persons in district Chakwal (Punjab, Pakistan). Before IRADAH, there were no facilities for disabled persons. It started with small-scale activities such as providing basic literacy trainings or tutoring to disabled children. Slowly, these activities gained momentum and IRADAH established a full-fledged school for deaf children in the remote village of Buchal Kalan - nearly 40 kilometers away from the district headquarters.

Disability is not as big an issue as the attitude towards disability or persons with disability. It is not the disability that consigns a person to isolation, destitution, and beggary, but it is the attitude of the society that does. In a society where disabled persons are considered good-for-nothing, people can only pity them, sympathize with them, but cannot empathize with them. “If you want to do something for disabled persons, make people realize that they need empathy, not sympathy”, said the founder of IRADAH. Thus began the journey towards assimilation or re-integration of disabled persons into mainstream society.

IRADAH was formed by a group of individuals headed by Mr. Izhar Hussain Awan, who was committed to the rehabilitation of disabled persons in 2001. It was registered under Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control) Act of 1961.

With the help of a few local volunteers, IRADAH started a small rehabilitation centre in a rented building in 2001. Seeing the commitment and hard work of its volunteers and their leader who himself was a disabled person, local philanthropists pooled some resources to help IRADAH purchase necessary equipment including the very basic items such as furniture. More people joined in, and it became possible for IRADAH to hold small events for raising awareness, provide physiotherapy services, and teach children with special needs.

Despite its humble beginning, IRADAH became a centre of excellence for disabled persons within a short span of time. On the one hand, it has developed its policies, governance structure and resource mobilization systems. On the other, it has won the trust of the communities and developed its image as a credible organization by providing quality services to disabled persons at their doorsteps.

IRADAH has a school for deaf children where 51 girls and boys are receiving education. It has a physiotherapy centre and vocational training centre for persons with disabilities.

Mission:

To raise awareness among society for the disabled, provide services for their rehabilitation, activation, development and assimilation.

Program:

 

For more information on IRADAH, please visit: www.iradah.org.pk

 

 

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