ISLAMABAD: A symposium on eradication of disability was Saturday held at Serena Hotel, Islamabad. Arranged by Strive Trust, the purpose of the event was to launch ‘Vision 2025 – A World Free of Disability’. STRIVE team members Dr Nisar and Dr Misbah Ghaus launched the ‘Project 3S’ aimed at focusing on the elimination of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), spinal cord injury and Stroke i.e. three most common diseases which impair physical mobility in Pakistan. “Project 3S envisions a diverse approach aimed at maximising data collection, influencing policy change and building a virtual network of all stakeholders within and outside Pakistan to help realise its target by the end of 2025,” said Dr Nisar. Dr Ansar Rapot told the audience about the policy plan to achieve the goal of Project 3S by talking about the smaller milestones to achieve the bigger one with special focus on seeking help from “Artificial Intelligence”. Power Minister Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari graced the occasion as the chief guest. While addressing the symposium, he stressed upon collective collaboration of all stakeholders to make Pakistan a disability-free country. “We are ready to assist Strive in the mainstreaming of drugs of spinal cord injuries in Pakistan as a first step to materialise their goal of eradication of disability,” he added. National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Education Chairman Col (r) Amirullah Marwat said thought parliament had completed four years it had not done anything for the rights of the disabled. He showed his commitment to forth the recommendations of the symposium on eradication of disability to standing committees on education and health. Former National Assembly deputy speaker Faisal Kareem Kundi vowed to support the cause of Strive Trust. “Eradication of disability must be our top priority for which we are all together irrespective of our political affiliations,” he said. Senator Sehar Kamran, while speaking to the audience, urged effective policymaking for the rights of marginalised segments of the community. Asrhaf Gujjar, ex-candidate for NA-48 said, “It is time to include the task of rehabilitation of the disabled in the manifesto of political parties.” Engineer Haji Iftikhar Chaudhary, PTI central deputy secretary information, urged all to serve the country in its true essence. Strive Trust Chairman Muhammad Yasir Khan, shared his motivation behind this noble cause and the Project 3S for the eradication of disability from Pakistan by 2025. “When I tried to talk about bringing cure of spinal cord injuries in Pakistan, the response was, ‘let China and India copy the formula and then it will be available in Pakistan’,” he shared. On this occasion STRIVE also announced to launch its volunteer network, mobile application for data collection and organising of international conference on eradication of disability. Trustee Barrister Muhammad Bin Majid highlighted the rights of persons with disabilities as per UN Convention. Majid Qureshi, chariman Rotary Club, vowed to support Strive Trust in this regard. Dr Anum Rajput, a handicapped practicing psychiatrist, shared the struggle of her life for the motivation of others. Dr Ansar Rajpoot and Abu Bakar Sidddique from Capital University of Science and Technology signed a MoU with Strive Trust for the eradication of disability by 2025. The launch was followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony, signifying Pakistan’s official commencement of the eradication of disability and auction of paintings by various volunteers and student. The raised amount will be consumed in free medical camps and different smaller milestones of Project 3S. The management extended its vote of thanks to all participants particularly the volunteers of various universities who worked day and night in the launching of the Project 3S. Published in Daily Times, December 7th 2017.