Fiji’s Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou has appealed to all Fijians to treat and respect individuals with disability and special needs.
He was speaking at a meeting to provide assistance to Bimlesh Deo Sharma, a disabled man from Volivoli Indo Settlement in Rakiraki.
Mr Tuitubou provided over F$ 1500 worth of yagona to Mr Sharma to assist in the running of his small business as a grog seller.
“Everyone want to have friends, fun and experience life to the maximum. People with disability are no exception. Never be afraid, sceptical, or embarrassed to approach someone with a disability. People with disabilities have just as much fun and should be treated equally and fairly by all of us,” Mr Tuitubou said.
He stressed the importance of assisting and encouraging people living with a disability so that they feel loved and are able to be independent.
“Remember that we are all different and we all see the world through a different lens. That lens is shaped by our situation, our upbringing, our lifestyle and a long list of other contributing factors,” Mr Tuitubou said.
“Take a moment to view the world through their eyes, and try to understand why they are doing whatever it is they are doing. This search for meaning will not only improve your relationship, but it will also help you educate others and break down the external barriers to independence. We must all remember that disability can happen to anyone,” he said.
Mr Sharma thanked the Minister and the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the kind gesture.
“This assistance will help generate income. I had started the grog business recently and have been able to save over $800 in my personal savings account,” Mr Sharma said.
Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou with Bimlesh Deo Sharma