(JollofNews) – In the wake of the nationwide campaign launched by the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (TANGO), the chairperson of the Gambia Association of the Physically Disabled (GAPD), Edward Preira, has called for the end of abuses that people living with disabilities are confronted with.
“The Gambia we want is a Gambia where persons living with disabilities will be given equal rights and justice,” said Preira at TANGO’s Regional Dialogues held on Tuesday at the Governor’s Office in Brikama, about 22 km away from Banjul.
The umbrella body of the country’s civil society organisations has recently embarked on a mammoth mission geared towards enabling communities, non-state actors to play a greater part in the affairs of the nation.
Dubbed ‘The Gambia We Want’, the campaign has quickly gathered pace as it provides a platform for the voiceless.
GAPD chair said they wish to live in a Gambia where they will not be subjected to inhumane treatment and harassment by the authorities. He then reminded the gathering about the troubling episode of security forces launching an attack against disabled persons as ex-dictator wanted to put a halt to begging in the streets.
Preira described the move taken by the former regime as a violation of the rights of people living with disabilities.
He decried the fact that most of Gambia’s public offices and institutions are far from being ‘disabled-friendly’ due to inadequate structures for the differently able persons.
He shared his own experience as a teacher who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 2005, revealing the disturbing discrimination he was subjected to.
While his batch mates have been promoted several times, Preira said he continues to stay in the same position.
“I never got any promotion from the Personnel Management Office (PMO),” he said.
“I did apply twice for promotions that were advertised by PMO. In fact, there was a time I applied and was for interview but was astonished to realise that my name did not appear on the final list.
“It is from this experience that I came to the conclusion that I was neglected because of my disability
Written by Abdoulie JOHN