Mr Wilson Anku, Volta Regional President of the Ghana Association of the Blind, on Thursday urged its members to engage in joint business enterprises to attract financial support. Mr Anku was addressing a delegates' meeting of the Ho Municipal branch of the Association on the theme: "2009, an action year for the implementation of the Disability Law 715- Let us all be involved." He said the Association was finding it difficult to attract financial support for its members because many of them have defaulted in paying back loans secured for them.
Mr Anku said group loans had greater chance of being granted and recouped because the lenders would be at ease working with such groups as corporate entities. He observed that some relatives of the blind tend to exploit their vulnerability by pressurizing them to take loans, which they seized from them amidst threats.
Mr Anku said some blind people also took loans and gave them to others voluntarily to invest in ventures over which they have no control. He said collective action and solidarity constitute very strong tools that the blind could use to assert their rights and importance in their communities.
Mr Anku therefore urged them to show keen interest in whatever goes on in their communities to ensure that their peculiar interests were taken care off in all decisions and actions. He urged members to inform the Association about blind children who were being kept away from society by their relatives due to superstitious and other reasons.
Mr Thomas Malm President of the Ho Municipal branch of the Association said, the branch had almost completed arrangements towards the establishment of an Educational Endowment Fund. "Hopefully a top banking institution is likely to advance grants to two students during 2009/2010 academic year to pursue programmes at the tertiary level," he said.
He said 23 of its members underwent successful cataract surgery in Accra through its initiative with sponsorship of the International Women association of Ghana in collaboration with the Indian Association. Mr Malm said the branch had tabled proposals to the Ho Municipal Assembly to install a corn mill and cassava grater. He said all visually impaired persons must take their own destiny into their own hands instead of sitting on the fence. He appealed to the Media to intensify the campaign to educate the public on the Disability law.
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