The informed group of the society accept the special needs of this diverse group but the majority is unaware and this group including people close to them - family, friends and neighbours. Indeed, physical, mental and sensory impairments are very common, affecting about 10 percent of the world's population and in Gilgit-Baltistan it is 11 percent.
The GRACE Association, Pakistan organizes Walk on December 3, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, every year to raise awareness among masses on special rights of the people with disabilities and remind the promises of government and the United Nations regarding "mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals".
Grace Association Pakistan organizes the walks in collaboration of other organizations and the Prime Minister Primary Healthcare Initiative Skardu has been the active collaborating organization with GRACE Association for this cause in Gilgit Baltistan.
The walk program is telecast on all local cable networks and in some national level TV channels to raise the awareness and sensitize the people on the rights of people with disabilities.
On December 3rd 2010 more than 1200 peoples belonging to different walks of life participated in the Awareness Walk from GRACE Public School to Radio Pakistan Chowk Skardu. The district administration heads including the Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police, District Health officer, Journalists, Teachers, Students and Representatives of Civil Society Organizations and CBOs warmly participate in the walk with people with disabilities to express their solidarity with them.
People with disabilities presented their problems and appealed the Government to do more to support people with disabilities. The people with disabilities demand implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and integrating their needs into national Millennium Development Goal agendas.
The Deputy Commissioner Skardu highly appreciated the endeavours of GRACE Association and PPHI Skardu. He announced an employment opportunity in his department for a deserving person with disability at the occasion and assured his full cooperation with the organizations working on disability especially the GRACE Association and PPHI Skardu. GRACE Association believes that the battles against poverty, disease and discrimination will not be won without targeted laws, policies and programmes that empower this group. We all need to keep the endeavors up to alive in the community of persons with disabilities and include them not only as beneficiaries but as valued agents of change
GRACE endeavours to empower and improve the quality of life of the marginalized and vulnerable communities in the least developed parts of Pakistan through welfare, participatory research and development, capacity building, promotion of best practices and partnership building, advocacy, and by launching sustainable and replicable innovative projects.