About 40 ex-students of the Pacelli School for the Blind on Saturday went on a rally to create awareness as part of their activities to mark the school’s Golden Jubilee.
The participants, aided by some members of the St. Johns’ Ambulance, a charitable organisation, danced as they rendered songs and drummed to celebrate the school, which was founded on June 6, 1962.
They were also joined by some notable persons who showed support as they marched from the National Stadium, Surulere to their school premises on Ajao Road in the same vicinity.
Danlami Bashiru, the Director of the Anglo-Nigeria Welfare Association of the Blind (ANWAB), who took part in the walk, said that the essence was to create awareness about the blind.
He said that many people donot know that the blind can also be educated to live independent lives.
“The fact is that blind people can be educated; we want people to see us and know that there is need to send their bind children to school.
“They should not restrict or deprive them of their movement and entitlement to education,’’ he said.
Elizabeth Ajayi, an ex-student of the school, said that she was excited taking part in the walk to showcase her alma mater, but called on the state government to make the roads better.
She appealed to the government at all levels, private individuals and philanthropists to support the school.
Ms. Ajayi, a Braille operator, said that such support is necessary to bring improvement to the school and make it accommodate more blind people.
Also speaking, the school Principal, Benedicta Ogike said that she has confidence in the ability of the students to excel if given necessary assistance.
Ms. Ogike, a Reverend Sister, who was also part of the walk to support the blind students, said that people with disabilities should not be stigmatised but given the chance to showcase their talents and knowledge.
The Chairman, Surulere Local Government Area, Tajudeen Ajida, who also walked with the blind participants to show support, said that the society should recognise the physically challenged.
He called on the public to help and embrace the blind by giving assistance to them when necessary and not to take advantage of their situation.
Mr. Ajida said that the local government is ready to offer assistance in its own capacity and render service to the school, promising that the council would help them out of the flood problems they were facing.
“We cannot completely correct the problem just at a go, we will start to help them gradually according to the financial capacity of the local government,’’ he said.
He urged people to always understand that blindness does not mean disability of the mind or disability in the area of knowledge.
Other activities to mark the celebration, which has the theme, “50 Years of Turning Despair To Hope” include an inter-house sports competition, a symposium on the blind, and a graduation ceremony for 17 students.