Create conducive environment encouraging people with disabilities to be productive- NGO

An NGO, Real Act of Kindness (RAK) Foundation, on Friday called on employers of labour to create conducive environment that would encourage people living with disabilities to be productive.

Mr Mobolaji Ogunlende, the Pioneer, RAK Foundation, made the call at an event marking the 2020 International Day of Person’s with Disabilities, organised by the foundation in Apa area of Badagry.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme was entitled: “Building Back Better: Toward a Disability Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World”.

Ogunlende said employers of labour must take note of that while establishing their businesses, adding that they should also create a conducive environment for people living with disabilities to operate.

He said they should not allow them to be bullied by their able-bodied colleagues in the offices.

“Some companies operating abroad, when marketing themselves about being all inclusive, meaning they do not select based on skin, colour or disabilities, but simply if you meet the requirements and qualifications.

“They call themselves, equal opportunity employers. We need those in these parts.

“We need people to be assessed purely on what they can do and not how their body parts are functioning,” he said.

The RAK pioneer said we need to educate those around us that bad stare or that looking down attitude they had on anyone who was disabled was damaging in many ways.

“So, let us change our mentality and treat everyone like we want to be treated.

“My foundation periodically reaches out to the disabled, and this year we have decided to celebrate the International Disabled Day with them to recognise them.

“This is a personal fulfilment for me.
“We know we need to do more in terms of participating in infrastructure set ups that will ensure they are fully taking care of.

“If we are able to get funding for this purpose, our agenda will be to establish correct systems for them,” he said.

Also, Mr Dare Dairo, the General Manager, Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), urged all physically challenged persons to register with the office for assistance.

Dairo, represented by Prince Rotimi Adeniyi, LASODA member of staff, commended RAK Foundation for initiating the ceremony.

Commenting, Mrs Sesi Ogungbe, the Supervisor for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Badagry West LCDA, representing the council Chairman, Mr Joseph Gbenu, commended Ogunlende for his philanthropic gesture to people of Badagry and its environs.

Gbenu assured the people living with disabilities that his administration would always assist them.

Also, Mrs Jumai Omotosho, the Executive Director, Ability in Disability Economic Empowerment Initiative, appealed to the chairman, Badagry West LCDA, to establish a school for the physically challenged persons’ children in the council area.

Omotosho said that such school would cushion the effects and pains of trekking long distance and the communication challenges being encountered by persons with disabilities, while going to their school in Badagry.

She thanked RAK Foundation for his rare support, adding that this was just the beginning of the organisation’s relationship with the foundation.

“We want to have you as our backbone; you are our father and we believe with you on our side, we will make Badagry better place for the physically challenged.

“There is ability in disability; when you get closer to them and interact with them, you will agree with me,” she said.

Also, Mr Dare Dairo, the General Manager, LASODA, urged all the physically challenged persons to register with the office for assistance.

Dairo, who was represented by Prince Rotimi Adeniyi, a staff member of LASODA, commended RAK Foundation for initiating the programme. (NAN)