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Mrs Priscilla Otti who is the wife of Abia Governor, has donated about 100 white canes to the visually impaired in the state.
The Eastern Updates reports that the canes were distributed during a ceremony organised to mark this year’s International White Cane and Safety Awareness Day in the state.
Every year on October 15, people throughout the world mark this day to raise awareness of the importance of the white cane as a means of independence for those who are blind.
The State Government, however, rescheduled the celebration for October 31.
The event, which was organised by the state chapter of the Nigeria Association of the Blind, in collaboration with the Office of the Governor’s Wife and Ministry of Women Affairs, started with a road walk, followed immediately with a seminar at the ministry’s secretariat.
In a speech, the governor’s wife told the beneficiaries that the white cane “symbolised independence and embodies resilience and determination for them to navigate a world that often remain hidden to them”
Mrs Otti, represented by a Special Assistant on Women Affairs to the governor, Chinwe Onyeukwu, said that the government was committed to the full implementation of the state Disability Law.
‘I’m also bringing you this assurance that the Disability Commission is going to be fully implemented and there is going to be an enforcement of that law,’ she said.
Also, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Ngozi Felix, said that persons with visual impairment face numerous barriers to their full inclusion and participation in community life.
Mrs Felix commended Gov. Alex Otti and his wife for promoting and advocating equitable access to public service for persons with visual impairment as well as building their capacities.
The commissioner, therefore, called on major stakeholders in society to create a conducive environment for the people to have equal access and enjoy socio-economic and political benefits that accrue from the developmental processes.
The special assistant to the governor on Persons with Disabilities, PWDs, David Anyaele, said that the global celebration was a demonstration of the significance of mobility to the blind community.
According to Mr Anyaele, white cane symbolises movement, direction, solidarity, inclusion and participation in society.
The PLWD chieftain, who said that the 100 white canes were donated based on the association’s request, thanked the governor’s wife for her kind gesture.
The special assistant to the governor on Vulnerable Groups and Poverty Alleviation, Ifeoma Thomas, said that the occasion signified inclusion and equal access.
Mrs Thomas charged the PWDs not to allow anyone to look down on them, irrespective of their circumstance, but to put their skills and talents to fruition in their endeavours.