It was a day of showcasing of talents and exhibition of hope that there is ability in disability. Persons living with disabilities, PLWD gathered on the grounds of the abandoned Hotel Presidential, Enugu to earmark the World Disability Day 2020.
The PLWDs were enjoined to shun street begging and learn skills capable of empowering and transforming their lives for the better.
Speaking to his colleagues, the President, Initiative for Eradication of Poverty and Empowerment of the Disabled, IFEPED an NGO, Mr. Victor Ugwu gave the charge in Enugu Thursday at the 2020 World Disability Day held at Hotel Presidential, Enugu premises.
Ugwu said they should not rely on begging or depend on a seasonal and annual charity being dished out by organisations, government and individuals but rather to do something for themselves and earn better living.
“I encourage us not to go into begging but learn to do something for yourselves. The annual charity should stop because they come once in a year…instead, those persons should teach you how to earn income for your selves.”
“We are against begging. Start to be doing something today, learn skills to earn a living instead of begging. We should lean how to manage ourselves rather than relying on others,” he charges.
He said they should learn to encourage themselves before looking out for help from others.
“You have to encourage yourselves before others will begin to help you,” he said.
Speaking at the occasion, traditional ruler and father of the day, Igwe Tom Inyiama, Ogwugwu Ebenebe of Ogwofia Owa, Ezeagu Local Government Area, told the disabled to see themselves as normal persons because virtually everybody is disabled in one way or the other; physically, emotionally and legally.
Igwe Inyiama said disability was not something to be celebrated but rather the authorities should be evoked to come to their rescue.
He said he would make sure that the state government and wealthy individuals help those physically challenged.
“We must prevail on the authorities to do something for the disabled. We are here to invoke the authorities to help the disabled.
“Certain disabilities need encouragement from the government and governments of the South, South-East provide mobility for the disabled, ” he said.
Many of the disabled used the occasion to show their talents as some of them recorded music and some their handcrafts.
These included the works of an amputated one-handed widow from Mgbowo, Awgu LGA, Mrs Mary Jane Amechi and blind Mrs Chin here Okafor who exhibited their singing talents and their recorded works on display playing to the delight of all.
One the PLWDs, Mr Ikechukwu Kama from Awgu LGA appealed to philanthropists and government to come to his aid in rehabilitating his destroyed Piggery farmhouse whose roof was blown away by the wind.
The PLWDs jointly and separately appealed to State government to give the succour and empowerment even as they regretted the shabby treated meted out to them by the governor when they went to him to seek support for the World Disability Day.
They shower paid glowing tribute to those who supported them in ensuring that event held and charged all to believe in themselves.