By Mustapha Jarju
Lamin K. Fatty the Executive Director of the Gambia Federation of Persons` with Disabilities said, parents of persons` with disabilities in Central River Region (CRR) and Upper River Region (URR) of the Gambia should not denied their children to get access to have the national documents.
In an exclusive interview with this medium during the weekend Director Fatty said, they are currently on a nationwide tour and they have been to communities in CRR and URR where they received series of complains from persons` with disabilities that they are denied by their parents to register for the new national birth certificate registration.
‘These children have been denied because of their disability, the parents are not giving them the opportunity to go to the registration centres to register. This is against their rights to get the national document which is for every Gambia and if the government is giving out that document to the people there should be no individual who should be discriminated, is a fundamental human rights violation, Fatty said.
The Disabilities Federation Director Fatty added that the parents in URR and CRR do not want their disability children to be seen more especially in a place where people gathered, which he said led to some of them not having that heart to take their children to be registered to have the national document.
“Disabilities should not stop anyone from having a national document and if the government pump out money for the satisfied Gambians to be given the national document their parents should not deny their disable children from having that document just because they disabled or they don’t want their community members to know that they having a child with disabilities,” he said.
Fatty called on parents who are keeping their disabled children in houses to take them out, saying they don’t belong to those houses, they are not prisoners, they have to be out and be given the national document as part of their right.
“In the Rural areas of the Gambia it is very sad more especially those with hard of hearing and intellectual disabilities (that’s the audism) you go to communities this people are kept in the house, I have seen them been kept in the house because the parent could not provide them the environment they need, because our school environment we talk about main steam education, this children are not giving that much attention at main steam schools, that’s why some of the parents keep their disabled children in the houses,” he said.
Fatty therefore challenged the government to decentralize the school education system for accessible education for the disabled children, adding that there should be special centres because there are certain types of disabilities that cannot be main steam in schools which call for the need for a special school for those kinds of children. In CRR there are parents who have deaf children but they did not have a guardian and this people need attention that not every family member can give them, he said.
“And if those special schools are centered in Kombos here the problem is going to continue, and this is why these parents in Rural Gambia are finding it very difficult because if you look at the hard of hearing people we have only one school for them in Basse and one in North Bank in which the guardianship is a problem for them and found it very difficult when it comes to sign language communication because they don’t have the basic of the Sign language communication.”