Islamabad: Chief Guest First Lady of Pakistan Begum Samina Alvi presided over the distribution of 100 wheelchairs in Islamabad, given through Dawood Global Foundation’s #LFWheels, LADIESFUND 10,000 wheelchair drive to make Pakistan and Pakistanis more mobile, in collaboration with donor IFWA Islamabad Foreign Wives Association.
“I want to appreciate Tara Dawood and Dawood Global Foundation LADIESFUND for arranging these wheelchairs and hope in the future we work more and more together. I really appreciate this effort to distribute throughout Pakistan. It’s a very good step,” said Begum Samina. “IFWA I really welcome you and it is so nice to see you contributing wherever there are such charity activities. Thank you!”
She added, “The banks have loans to give handicapable so please start your businesses and know there is vocational skill training to help you for jobs. This is something we want to do with Tara. We have a set-up in Karachi and are trying to bring a vocational center to Islamabad and Lahore as well.”
“We are very humbled by this experience of interacting with and giving to some of the most unseen and oft times forgotten citizens of our nation,” said Tara Uzra Dawood, “We appreciate the First Lady’s presence and are so grateful to the generosity of IFWA and their trust in the LADIESFUND 10,000 wheelchairs project.”
The distribution was at National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (NIRMs) where 100 wheelchairs were gifted by Dawood Global Foundation in collaboration with the donor Islamabad Foreign Women’s Association and was split between handicapable individual women recipients and the hospital itself. It was an emotional experience for all. As per IFWA charter, women patients and women individuals received these wheelchairs.
“I am very happy that the wheelchairs donated by IFWA will improve the quality of life of disabled women and give them more independence,” said Irena Smetankova, IFWA President and spouse of the Ambassador of Czech Republic.
“My goal is to deliver wheelchairs to people with disabilities in every corner of Pakistan, who cannot fulfill the purpose of their life due to their disability,” said, Ammad Siddiqui, Project Manager, LADIESFUND Wheels, and who was responsible for both the procurement and the due diligence of the distribution.
The National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicines (NIRM) is working under the administrative control of M/o National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination Islamabad. The institute provides Diagnostic, Medical, Surgical and Rehabilitative services to persons with disability free of cost coming from all over the country. Executive Director NIRM Dr. Shabana Saleem welcomed the guests and expressed gratitude for this much needed donation, especially since the last time wheelchairs had been donated was 2005 and many were in very poor conditions.
“When we visited the women and saw the poor condition of their old wheelchairs, we knew that something had to be done. IFWA wants to make sure that assistive technology is made accessible to women and children,” said Ursula Keller, IFWA Executive committee and spouse of the Ambassador of Austria.
Islamabad Foreign Women´s Association IFWA, founded by wives of ambassadors posted to Pakistan, brings together expat spouses temporarily based in Islamabad. Since its inception in 1995, IFWA has been raising funds through their multiple activities, striving to support needy women and children in Islamabad and the region.
‘It was with great pleasure that we worked with the Ladiesfund to donate 100 wheelchairs in Islamabad to help those in need,’ Gaynor Shaw, former Vice President IFWA, spouse of Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan.
In addition to Irena Smetankova (Czech Republic) and Ursula Keller (Austria), present at the ceremony were IFWA executive committee members Charles Aleya (HoMS EU Ambassador), Mariam Shenaaz Vanker (South Africa) (South Africa), Marie-Charlotte Deichmann (Germany), Ludo van Vooren (Belgium/Norway), Ariane Dossche (Belgium), and from LADIESFUND, Dr. Awais Siraj, Mirza Munawar Shikoh and Shafaqat Mehmood.
The recitation was performed by the talented Gulzar Irfan, while seated in the #LFWheels IFWA wheelchair she had just received.