Telenor Pakistan (TP) is encouraging its employees to participate in volunteer activity under HumQadam program. Risk and Assurance Management department planned a HumQadam activity with Saaya Association. Saaya, Association of Persons with disabilities is a non-profit and cross disability association which supports people with disabilities enabling them to realize their full potential through new opportunities, personal choice, and community involvement. The Saaya association is working for improving the ultimate status with dignity of people with disabilities. Saaya is focused on information communication, Independent Living, inclusive education, Barrier Free & Right-Based society.

TP staff went out for a day with the representatives from Saaya at Lake View point. Few members from other divisions of the Company also joined in for the activity. 10 participants from Saaya (7 with disabilities and 3 personal attendants) came for this “outreach and accessibility audit activity”.

All gathered at a point where the brief introduction about the Saaya organization was provided by Asim (CEO Saaya Association) and some details were shared regarding the difficulties faced by people with disabilities in their daily lives. He stressed that people with disabilities should be considered as normal person, slight changes are required to be made in the society and they can work on their own. He reflected great motivation and spirit while he was delivering his comments for TP volunteers. Every member from Saaya shared their life experiences too.

Later snacks were served, followed by information provided on how support wheelchair users with physical disabilities, how to shift them with one or two persons and alphabets/ numeric’s were taught in sign language. Then we played two very participative cricket matches. Team which was captioned by Asim won both the matches.

Lunch was served and afterwards Sumaira sung some beautiful songs and poems at the event. She has got a melodious voice. Everyone left towards the boating area and few were brave enough to enjoy the boat ride as well while others watched them. Accessibility audit of the surroundings was also conducted by Saaya representatives to identify which area of the Lake View Park is easily accessible for people with disabilities.

“We appreciate what Telenor Pakistan is doing and just want to say that do not consider us special as we are as normal as any other human being. We are only made with disabilities by the environment and improvement to the environment will help us in living a life like those who are enjoying existing facilities.” Asim Zafar, CEO Saaya.

“I wish, I’d done this earlier. I think it’s not just a matter of completing hours for me anymore. But an activity I want to make part of my life” Deena Khan, HCD TP

“This HumQadam activity with Saaya gave me an unforgettable experience to learn about mental strength of persons with disabilities, it also made me realize that they are not disable, its only the lack of proper facilities which made them disable. We can also become disable if things around us are not built according to our comfort and ease” Muhammad Qasim Cheema, Finance TP.

“Telenor HumQadam Program gave me the opportunity to spend a day with people with disabilities which was an eye opening session for me. It made me realize that our role in society is much bigger and our responsibilities don’t end by just making financial contributions. We need to bring change in the mindset of people which will with time reflect in our society. Thus, this is beginning of a journey which Telenor Pakistan has started and Insha’Allah we need to take this forward as individuals” Nausheen Fatima, Commercial TP.

At the end of event both Saaya Association and Telenore Pakistan volunteers assured each other for future collaboration and working together for long term basis through human to human relations.