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FG’s Neglect Deprives Children Of Education In FCT Disability Colonies

Posted by on December 27, 2021 0

TUCKED behind the National Military Cemetery along Airport Road is Karon Majigi, a suburb in Nigeria’s capital city, where many low-income people in Abuja are residents.

In Karon Majigi, a colony for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) was established by former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Nasir El-Rufai to rid Abuja of beggars on the streets.

According to the Emir of the PWDs Suleiman Mohammed Katsina, about 520 PWDs live in the colonies with their families.

Most of the houses are built with zinc roofing sheets and wood. The streets are marked by rivulets of dirty water and accumulated debris.

The PWDs living in this colony face several difficulties, because they lack the financial capacity to cater to their daily needs.

They rely on charities from well-meaning individuals or organisations and the gift of able-bodied members of their families for survival.

Children bear the brunt

Children make up a large number of able-bodied occupants of the colony, and the basic amenities are luxury.

Many are out of school, since most families cannot afford tuition fees. In most cases, the children hawk food items around the community to augment the family income.

Seven-year-old Khadija Umar lives in the colony with her father, a PWD. She dropped out of school due to accumulated fees that her parents could not pay.

“They said I should stop coming to school because there is no money to pay my school fees,” she said.

She now sells ‘wara,’ a local chese consumed in northern Nigeria.

Mariya is a trader who lives in the colony with her husband, a PWD, and three children.

She told The ICIR that she could not afford to enrol any of her children in school, as feeding was already a daily struggle.

“We cannot even afford to eat or take care of ourselves. How can we afford an education if we cannot take care of feeding?” she asked.

The difficult conditions under which the PWDs live have pushed many of them into begging. Since they cannot afford education for their children, some families use them as guides when they go into the city to beg.

A seven-year-old who identified himself as Kabir was spotted leading an old blind man while begging for alms at Life Camp.

Kabir told The ICIR that he has never been in school but spends his days begging with his blind grandfather.

“I have never been to school. I come here with baba every morning to beg, and we go back to Karon Magiji in the evening,” he said.

Some children, especially the PWDs in the colony, are sent to beg for alms by their parents rather than go to school.

Hadiza Ismail is a sixteen-year-old PWD and the third of four children who live with their parents at the colony.

Source:- Icirnigeria


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