Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 02, 2016 (SKNIS): In celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Minister of Health, Honourable Eugene Hamilton took to the streets along with fellow parliamentarian, Konris Maynard, to walk in the steps of a disabled person.
During his address to the nation to mark the day, Minister Hamilton, who was blindfolded, said he was moved by the experience.
“I was moved by a few things. Firstly, the love and care that exist among the members of the Association of Disabled Persons. Secondly, the selfless commitment of volunteers who support the Disabled. Thirdly, the challenge I faced as I walked blind-folded, to cope with the unknown. Fourthly, the symbolic culmination of the exercise, finishing on the steps of the Seat of Government,” said Minister Hamilton.
The minister said that the moving experiences have demanded him to draw attention to the everyday challenges of those who are neighbours and friends, especially those who are challenged by disability.
He added that he is moved to urge the vehicular traffic to yield, especially at street crossing signs; moved to encourage the enforcement of ramp access to every publicly accessed facility and moved to invite the youth of the nation to show respect for those who have disabilities.
He urged the nation to recognise that being disabled can happen to anyone at some time or period.
“It behooves us all therefore to be tolerant, helpful, supportive and selfless in dealing with others as we journey through life.”
The minister said that persons who are disabled do not seek pity and are productive citizens who seek only what everyone desires, which is respect, recognition and love.
Addressing disabled persons, Minister Hamilton saluted them for their continued efforts to bring awareness to the challenges they face and encouraged them to communicate and partner with the Ministry, certainly with Government to ensure that as development takes place, it does so with collaboration and intervention from every facet of the society.
He said that he hopes that the disabled of the nation had rewarding experiences for the week and hopes that they grow as individuals and as a group to continue contributing to society.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities is being celebrated under the theme“Empowering Persons with Disabilities, Reduces Liabilities while improving their Quality of Life.”