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May 24, 2003

Musharraf announces Rs10m for Dewa Academy

From: Hi Pakistan, Pakistan - May 24, 2003

KARACHI: "An individual having determination and will to do and perform can overcome his weakness."

This was stated by President Gen Pervez Musharraf at the inauguration ceremony of the Dewa Academy Complex and Institute for deaf and dumb children in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

Responding to the demand of giving the Academy the status of a University, President Musharraf said, "I agree if this is to be made a university, its organs should work all over the country. As a start, I will give Rs10 million for the Academy."

He said that he would remain affiliated with the institution to provide backup and support whenever needed. However, while asking the concerned to complete the formalities to for acquiring the status of a University for the academy, the President said that they should further improve their standards and ensure that international standards are maintained.

He said that it would be heartening to note that it would be only the second University after Washington DC in the world for special children.

The proposed university will provide education and training facilities from the beginning up to university level, besides counselling, guidance and legal as well as psychological support.

Addressing the students, he said, "never give up, have full confidence in your capabilities and trust Allah."

He also announced that he had asked the Sindh government to provide respectable jobs to the first graduating batch of the Dewa Academy comprising 18 students, who qualified from Karachi University.

He said that he had a couple of other occasions to be in touch with special people that included a reception for Pakistan's blind cricket team.

He also appreciated the founder of Dewa Academy, Munir Ahmad Lodhi, Chief Patron Shujat Ali and other people who were affiliated with the Academy. He said that all scientific systems, development of hearing aids, research in improving facilities, focus on 'total communication' and the way the management was running the academy was not less than found in any other developed country. He hoped that with the passage of time, these facilities would improve further.

President Musharraf addressing the parents said that special children needed love and affection more than normal children, therefore, parents should give them more attention.

"It is not the responsibility of parents of special children, but of every citizen to give due attention to this segment and patronise such institutions which are serving humanity," he added.

He called upon the philanthropists to donate generously to such institutions so that the services to make special children bona fide citizens could go along smoothly.

President Musharraf asked special children to look at the brighter side of life and get inspiration from what they had got, instead of looking at the dark side, encouraging them that they had got capabilities, which thousands of others did not have.

"I am extremely moved by what I have seen here," he remarked, accepting their request to be the patron-in-chief of the academy.

The ceremony was also addressed by Founder and Chairman of the Academy Munir Ahmad Lodhi, Chief Patron Shujat Ali and Mrs Gohar Ayub, MNA, besides mother of one special child of the academy.

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