By Telnis Skuqi
Sarandë – In Saranda it is rather difficult to find a parking space for the people with disabilities and this to Fadil K. that owns a vehicle is a double endeavor. Seven years ago, Fadil had a road accident in Greece. He was an emigrant when his personal tragedy happened. The vehicle that changed his life came out of the road and since that day he lost the right “to fly” with his feet, he got paralyzed. “I do not want to remind that accident that nearly took my whole life”, says Fadil shortly. According to him, in Saranda there are at least six parking spaces, but none respects them. “A disabled person cannot dare to carry out any of his services to himself because he cannot find a parking space”, says Fadil, adding that there exist the vertical and horizontal sign roads, but there do not exist the law enforcement institutions.
Fadili says that he has passed this concern to the traffic police and local authorities. “I have complained several times for the usurpation, but I have never found their good understanding”, underlines Fadil, 55 years old, father of three grown up children. To Fadil, the difficulties to freely move are many. Almost no state or private institution has build the infrastructure for the disabled people, despite the Saranda municipality and two second level bank branches that exercise their profit activity in the coastal town, in the southern part of the country. “In Saranda do not exist the red lines for the disabled. To go to the second floor of the sub Prefecture it is a real torture. This is a problem that does exist in other institutions, as well”, expresses Fadil. “The power of the state is shown when it is served to the weak people, but who thinks like me?, thinks Fadil.
The State Social Service (SHSSH) in Vlora region assesses as worrying the lack of infrastructure for the disabled people in Saranda town. “SHSSH being a social institution has continuously requested to the local government to be active in the protection of the rights of the disabled people, but until now they have kept silent”, say official sources from the SHSSH. The same sources say that in Saranda town are counted with fingers the institutions that have fulfilled the criteria on regard to the infrastructure for the disabled, despite the existence of a special law for this category. The same opinion is shared by the Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, Erion Veliaj, who underlines that very few institutions either public or private have fulfilled several obligations related to the people with disabilities, this thank to the integration process of Albania to EU.
Veliaj underlines that “the Albanian government has signed the Convention of United Nations Organization on regard to the Rights of the People with Disabilities, and they are working towards its implementation by planning and compiling a frame law for the Disabled People, which will bring the solution to many of their problems, as it will be for the first time that all the categories of the people with disabilities, their rights, but also the obligations of the responsible institutions will be included in such a law that will be in compliance with the EU legislation and the UN Convention”. Veliaj underlines that the 2015 budget for the people with disabilities aims to address the needs for the blind people, pre and tetraplegic people, mentally and physically ill people and the labour disabled as well.
“During this year the fund for the treatment of the people with disabilities is over 15.4 thousand million leke, 2.5 times higher compared to 2013, time when the payments for the disability were covered by only 6.1 thousand million leke”, continues Veliaj.
The government, adds Veliaj, has continuously contributed for the people with disabilities to find themselves in the labour market, or on having financial facilities. “Each state or local institution that has 25 employed people is obliged by the law to employ a person with disabilities. In fact the local government does not respect this law, whereas the state institutions are more strict to this law”, concludes Veliaj.
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