Saaya, Association of Persons with disabilities is a non-profit and cross disability association which supports people with disabilities (PWDs), enabling them to realize their full potential through new opportunities, personal choice, and community involvement. The association is working for improving the ultimate status with dignity of people with disabilities. Saaya is focused on Independent Living, inclusive education, Barrier Free & Right-Based society and ”access to Justice”.
More than 500 million people in the world are disabled as a consequence of mental, physical or sensory impairment. These persons are entitled to the same rights as all other human beings and to equal opportunities. Too often their lives are handicapped by physical and social barriers in society which hamper their full participation. Because of this, millions of children and adults in all parts of the world often face a life that is segregated and debased.
It is estimated that one person out of ten is disabled by physical or mental or sensory impairment, and at least 25% of any population is adversely affected by disability. At least 350 million disabled persons are living in areas where they do not receive the services needed to enable them to overcome their limitations.
Disabled people in the developing world often face more acute barriers than those in developed nations. Up to 80% of disabled persons live in isolated rural areas in the developing world including Pakistan. In some countries 20% of the populations are disabled. Thus, it can be estimated that, when disabled people’s relatives are included, 50% of the population is affected by disability. In addition, disabled people are the poorest of the poor. They often do not have access to adequate medical services. As a result disabilities are often not detected in time to minimize disability affects. By the time they receive medical attention, if at all, impairment may have become irreversible
The individual who becomes permanently physically disabled today find himself in a bewildering world, a new and different world. A world where he is no longer responsible for his family, for his personal financial needs, for his behavior, for most of the things he had been responsible for as an adult person in society. Gone with these is his right to expect equal social acceptance as a responsible adult human person. The right of political and economic involvement in society; the right of access to public buildings and programs; the right to equal access to private services and facilities; the right to travel freely; the right to choose his employment and associations; All are gone, or at least diminished.
In the last ten years disabled people have organized themselves into their own organizations in 100 countries. Disabled people’s organizations are those controlled by a majority (51%) at the board and membership levels. Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) considers the role of organizations of disabled people to be the most fundamental issue for the disabled person’s movement.
The role of these organizations includes providing a voice of their own, identifying needs, expressing views on priorities, evaluating services and advocating change and public awareness. As a vehicle of self development, these organizations provide the opportunity to develop skills in the negotiation process, organizational abilities, mutual support, information sharing and often vocational skills and opportunities. In view of their vital importance in the process of participation, it is imperative that their development be encouraged
Disabled people have to form their own organizations to represent themselves. Thus some role models from PWD’s of Pakistan got together on one platform and has formed DISABLED SAAYA ASSOCIATION. That will revise society’s definitions of them as “sick” and as being punished by God. They redefined themselves as citizens with rights the same rights as all other human beings — to medical and social services, education, transportation, employment, housing and family life.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
To promote and provide financial, educational, health and social aid and support.
To Promote Independent Living among the Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and community.
To promote and provide Sports and Cultural opportunities.
To work for access to Justice through mass media.
To work for “Inclusive Education, barrier free & right base society” through advocacy.
To empower persons with disabilities for their rights.
Provision of assertive devices such as wheelchairs, tricycle, white cane etc.