The Dhaka University Branch of the Physically Challenged Development Foundation (PDF) commemorated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 on 9 December.
The event was held at the Professor Mozaffar Ahmed Chowdhury auditorium at the university's Faculty of Social Sciences.
Prof. Md. Akhtaruzzaman, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dhaka, inaugurated the programme as the chief guest.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) Prof Dr ASM Maqsood Kamal, Institute of Social Welfare and Research Assistant Professor Md Tawhidul Hoque, Chairperson of the Department of Communication Disorders Tawhida Jahan, Auko-Tex Group Managing Director Engineer Abdus Sobhan, and PDF Team Lead of Youth Net Md Nazmus Sakib, delivered speeches as special guests at the ceremony.
The event was presided by PDF-DU President Sabia Boishakhi and hosted by General Secretary Nayem Molla.
Prof. Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman during his address said that in order to develop an inclusive and equal society, people with disabilities must be included in all aspects of society. People with disabilities must be integrated into the mainstream if the Sustainable Development Goals are to be met by 2030. Various measures for barriers free movement and inclusion of students with disabilities in all areas of the university have previously been undertaken".
"Those whom we label to as disabled in society are often more efficient and mentally powerful than the general public. They are capable of overcoming any obstacle", said Prof Dr ASM Maksud Kamal, pro-vice-chancellor (Education), University of Dhaka.
He also expected that PDF-DU members will help students with disabilities in developing their knowledge, thinking, and talents.
Following the panel discussion, an inclusive debate program was organized, in which disabled and non-disabled students competed in a parliamentary show debate on the theme of "This house believes that family, not the government, plays the most important role in mainstreaming people with disabilities.
Following that, at a prize distribution ceremony, the winners of the 'Essay Writing Competition' were announced. The theme of the competition was "Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an accessible, inclusive, and sustainable post-Covid-19 Bangladesh.
The celebration was capped up with a cultural presentation in which youth with disabilities stunned the audience with their unique approaches to singing and playing musical instruments.