KARACHI: Employers Federation of Pakistan (EFP) in collaboration with the Pakistan Business and Disability Network, International Labor Organization (ILO), Sightsavers Pakistan, GIZ, organized 1st Disability Inclusion Excellence Awards 2023. This Disability Inclusion Excellence Award honored employers with exemplary disability inclusion practices. 35 organizations contested out of which those who met the basic threshold were recognized by awarding awards.

Agriauto Industries Ltd, Akhtar Textile Industries, Artistic Milliners, Bank Alfalah, Bank of Punjab, Dr. Essa Laboratory & Diagnostic Center, Dubai Islamic Bank, Feroze1888 Mills, Herbion Pakistan, Ismail Industries, K-Electric, Lucky Textile Mills, Meezan Bank, Nestlé Pakistan, Pakistan Eye Bank Society Hospital, Pak-Qatar Takaful, Sadaqat Ltd, Standard Chartered Bank, Unilever Pakistan, and Zaamin Builders were recipients of the awards. The selected award winners demonstrated a strong commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace environment, ensuring that their policies and practices accommodated individuals with disabilities.

The ceremony was attended by more than 200 participants representing employers and their representatives, worker’s federations, NOGs and Government officers from the relevant departments in addition organisationsions dealing with disability and persons with disabilities. The Board Directors and representatives from Partners organizations including Sightsavers, ILO, GIZ, UNICEF and Standard Chartered Bank were also present. Whereas Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz, Minister for Health, Social welfare and Health Engineering was the Chief Guest.

On the occasion, Health Minister Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz congratulated the award winners and applauded the organizers of the event. He said empowering every individual, irrespective of ability, is not just a duty; it’s the cornerstone of a compassionate society. He added that the Disability Inclusion Excellence Awards 2023 illuminate our collective commitment to fostering inclusivity, and I am honored to be part of this transformative journey. He said equality is a must to support differently-abled persons by providing them equal opportunities to grow.

Itfaq Khaliq Khan, Senior Programme Manager at Sightsavers Pakistan said “Vision is more than just sight; it’s the capacity to recognize each person’s potential. Let’s keep pushing for a time when everyone has access to opportunities and inclusion is a reality rather than simply a pipe dream.

Muhammad Ubaid, Project Manager for Women’s Employment at GIZ, shared that GIZ has been actively working for nine years to promote decent work in industries and has launched the ‘Employment Programme for Community.’ He appreciated the noteworthy efforts dedicated to advancing Disability Inclusion by EFP, and expressed GIZ’s wholehearted support for these initiatives.

Muhammad Feroz Alam, Vice President EFP said that EFP is proud to celebrate excellence in disability inclusion through the Disability Inclusion Excellence Awards. This event showcases our commitment to fostering workplaces that are truly inclusive, where diversity is embraced, and every individual has the opportunity to thrive.

“EFP, jointly with PBDN and with the support of our esteemed partners, will hold the annual Disability Award event to mark International Disability Day on 3rd December every year,” he announced.