Zaheer Jan A one man army for children with special needs in J&K.
Special needs or disabled children feel most let down in our society due to unfavorable circumstances for them in all the spheres of life.
There are more than 1.2 lakh disabled children in J&K of which 83,567 are school-going others don’t attend schools because most of the private schools didn’t provide them admissions.
Kashmir-based Child & Disability Rights Activist, parent Advocate and Paediatric occupational Therapist Zaheer Jan is like a one man army campaigning advocacy for the right to decent inclusive education of the children with special needs. He is fighting against all odds to get these children their due in private schools. He is also trying his level best to get these children to get their due in elite schools who often show hegemony and reluctant approach while admitting these students.
Zaheer Jan laments the fact that After abrogation of Article 370, all central laws are applicable to J&K and as per RPWD Act 2016 all private schools or Govt schools should allow children with special need in mainstream.
Zaheer Jan has emerged as an icon for the persons with special needs he believes as a Rehab professionals this is our duty to help parents to provide them their basic rights and to aware them of their rights.
He founded the organization Save the Destitute Foundation and I am its Chairman. The aims and objectives of the organization are working for Child and disability rights , Capacity building and Advocacy for persons with disabilities, inclusive education, disasters and health issues. We have different areas of burning concern to work in our organization . When we saw an organization there was no awareness in Kashmir related to inclusive education, Early intervention, job policy for PWDs and we organised many conferences and workshops to create awareness on same and till date we organised 6 conference and 2000 stakeholders attended our conferences.The role played by Zaheer Jan in uplifting the people with special needs is commendable. He said his organization provide 8000 Heath care kits among Asha workers, Health care workers and other NGO volunteers in all district in kashmir.
He started an online petition in change.org related to inclusive education for cwsn and 1809 people, parents across India signed his petition and after that Directorate of school education Kashmir as well as jammu issued circular not to denial of admission to children with special needs. He said these orders only on papers on grounds nothing happens schools still deny admissions to cwsn and doesn’t implement RPWD Act 2016 and Director school orders. His appreciable role in getting people with special needs is a morale boosting example for the society in these tough times.