From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Nigeria Association of the Blind, Edo State chapter, yesterday, called on Nigerians to regularly go for eye check up at least once in a year to avoid blindness.
Mr. Lucky Imafidon, Chairman, Nigeria Association of the Blind, Edo State chapter, made the call during a sensitazition rally to mark the 2021 White Cane Safety Day in Benin.
Addressing Journalists, during the rally, he said the White Cane Safety Day is celebrated all over the world on October 15 every year.
Imafidon said they decided to come out to remind the government to pass the disability bill into law.
“The celebration started long time ago when a joint congress of the United States of America took a resolution which was passed into law known as White Cane Safety Day.
“The day is set aside to sensitize the general public about the right of the blind to use the roads, right to use the walkway, right to quality education and healthcare.
“The visually impaired needs to be catered.
“The blinds in Edo State need to be cared for. We want to inform the general public that the blinds have the right to use the walkway.
“We are also here to let the governor know that the disability bill should be sent to the State House of Assembly so that it can be passed into law and we will not be discriminated against.
“If it is passed into law, there will be a commission that will take care for our needs, preach against discrimination and that commission will be headed by persons who are physically challenged”, he said.
He appreciated the governor for what he is doing for the community of the blind and the handicapped, noting that the present administration has been one of the best for people living with visual disabilities.
“We appreciate his benevolence. It is in this administration that students of institutions of higher learning were given bursary awards.
“It is also in his administration that the blinds were given employments”, he said
He also said that they want the governor to do more, especially in the area of employment because many of them who have qualifications do not have jobs.
” When an educated visually impaired person has no job, it makes him or her not to be useful to the society.
“We need employment for our members.
“We need bursary for those in higher institutions of learning. It is expensive to educate a blind child, therefore we need the support of the government and cooperate organizations to give scholarships to people living with visual disabilities in higher institutions.
“In addition, we want a rehabilitation center where those who cannot afford formal education can be trained informally. Our members of the association of the blind go to other states for training, we want ours to be established in Edo State”, he said.