Human Services Ministry talks plans of training disability community

discuss plans for training

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud on Friday met Disability Rights Activist, Mr. Ganesh Singh to discuss major improvement plans that the Ministry has on stream for the disability community, especially as it relates to training.

At her Lamaha and East Streets office, Minister Persaud also engaged Mr. Singh on security concerns raised by members of the Guyana Society for the Blind. She disclosed that the Ministry would be examining what assistance can be given as it relates to a safe venue.   Mr. Singh himself was robbed earlier this week.

Mr. Singh, who is also Programme Coordinator of the Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities, will play a huge role in helping the Ministry determine the way forward regarding new efforts for persons with disabilities.

“It was a very, very productive meeting and I was actually taken aback with the Minister’s vision for disability. It’s clear and in sync with what we want so I am optimistic and very excited to work along with this Ministry,” Mr. Singh said after the meeting.  He noted that Minister Persaud has a very practical way of doing things.

Human Services Minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud and Permanent Secretary Shannielle Hoosein-Outar met with GCOPD Programme Coordinator Ganesh Singh on Friday

The activist was able to share his ideas on the programmes that the Ministry wants to roll out for teenagers, young adults, and those in the disability community who may not have had access to any formal training.

Meanwhile, as Blindness Awareness Month is being observed in May, President of the Guyana Society for the Blind, Mr. Cecil Morris said mainly virtual activities are planned owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, he called attention to the issue of security for the members of the society and noted that a number of blind persons have been robbed over the past few months, both in the compound and while on their way into the compound.

 “This security issue has been an ongoing one with no concrete solution from the authorities. The area is known to have a lot of thieves,” he pointed out.

Explaining some of the other challenges at the society, Mr. Morris said for the past two years, the building floods even during light rainfall.

Additionally, the sewerage system that is connected to the building is blocked and the Guyana Water Incorporated’s field workers have been unable to find the blockage or the plan for the area. As a result, there is constant back up of waste.   Also, vagrants and other citizens use the area, mainly the driveway to the compound, as a dumpsite.

Mr. Morris also noted that the organisation needs adequate funding to carry out its mandate.

The Guyana Society for the Blind is a national organisation of and for the blind and is governed by an act of Parliament. The organisation has been in existence since 1953 at its present location and has been providing services to the blind community in various areas. The GCOPD, on the other hand, is a collaborative forum which was established in January 2008 and is made up of representatives of different organisations for persons with disabilities. Its members meet regularly to support each other with the objective of building a stronger disability movement in Guyana.