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Don’t neglect physically-challenged people: PM

37Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday urged all not to neglect the physically and mentally-challenged people and children as they could show their mettle is the scopes are given.
“It’s my fervent call to the teachers of all educational institutions and guardians as well as people from all strata not to neglect the disabled people and children because if scopes are created for them, they could show their mettle and worthiness,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said this while inaugurating the five-nation multinational ICRC T20 International Cricket Tournament (Sept 2-10) for the physically-challenged people at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the morning.
The tournament kicked off in the city aiming to promote the cause of social inclusion of the physically-challenged people and encourage more cricketing nations to have their own cricket programmes for such people.
The ICRC in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Bangladesh Cricket Board and Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan-BKSP is hosting the nine-day event.
Hasina said her government has been trying hard to ensure the welfare of the physically-challenged people as they are being given training and education. An academy is also being set up for them.
The Prime Minister urged those who are associated with sports to create more scopes for those physically-challenged people in games and sports.
She said it is the decision of her government to find the dormant talents of the physically and mentally-challenged people and thus ensure their due place in society.
The Prime Minister said the country’s physically-challenged players have already clinched 70 medals, including 21 of gold in the Special Olympics. The blind cricketers of Bangladesh also have shown their success, she added.
Mentioning that disability is not a disease, rather it is a kind of challenge, the Prime Minister said the players with physical disabilities conquered the challenges setting examples that disability could never stand in the way of pursuing a dream.
Sheikh Hasina hoped that this tournament would go a long way in creating awareness about the capability of the physically-challenged people. It will also help understand collective responsibilities towards the people with physical disabilities, she said.
Extending her heartfelt thanks to ICRC for organising the competition, the Prime Minister assured it of providing her government’s continuous support for similar initiatives in the future.
Apart from host Bangladesh, England, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan and are participating in the tournament.
A total of 26 physically-challenged persons were selected from 149 participants from across the country and were given training under eminent BCB coaches.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Biren Sikder, Deputy Minister Arif Khan Joy, BCB President Nazmul Hasan Papon also spoke on the occasion. Head of Delegation of the ICRC Christine Cipolla delivered the welcome address.