Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Visually impaired karate champion in Pakistan now looking for employment

From The International News:

Muhammad Asad Rauf Abbasi (pictured), a partially blind, 27-year-old young man, claims to be the only blind Pakistani to secure a black belt title in ‘Kyo Khshin’ Japanese style karate is in dire need of financial assistance and has appealed to the government both at federal and provincial level to help in getting a suitable job.

Abbasi who has been practicing karate since childhood is partially blind and can see only at a distance of one meter. International Karate Organisation (IKO) with its headquarter in Tokyo Japan awarded him the black belt title in 1999. But the poor man is very desperate about his future and needs a job to earn a respectable livelihood.

In 1999 after competing with the normal opponents Asad got the black belt from Kyo Khshin Kai Ken Karate Association of Pakistan and later its head office in Japan endorsed his title.

Talking to ‘The News’ Abbasi said that he falls into the B-category of sports. According to World Health Organisation in B-category sports sportsmen who had a vision at a distance of 5 to 6 meters can compete, but Abbasi could only see at a distance of one meter. His disability is even mentioned at his Nadra identity card and he is also registered with social welfare department.

Asad lost his eyesight in 1997 when he was a secondary school certificate (SSC) student before that his eyesight was normal. Doctors told him that some of his nerves connecting eyes with the mind got shrunk and that is why he has been disable to see. Despite the fact Asad kept up his passion for karate and finally managed to achieve the black belt.

Asad till this time has represented Pakistan in different international events for handicapped. In 2010 he participated in Asian para games held at Guangxu China as Jodo player. He also represented Pakistan in Malaysia as athlete in the FESPIC games for handicapped sportsmen.

Talking about his game Asad told that he compete with the normal sighted sportsmen and got the black belt likewise. The Kyo Khshin style according to Asad is the most dangerous style where the opponents could hit at any part of the body. It is just practice that has made him tough that he could bear the punches. “Similarly I also try to remain close to the opponents. My blocking of the punches is quite accurate,” Asad added.

Recently Asad got married and he is living with his wife in a rented house at Muslim Town, Sadiqabad with the family of his elder brother, who is settled in Dubai. His elder brother is bearing expenses of his livelihood, but Asad doesn’t want to remain dependant on him and wants to become independent. It is also to mention here that both his parents died few years back.

He is a matriculate and is now preparing to appear in the intermediate examinations. He also did a four months special education course of mobility training where the blind children were taught to walk properly. According to Asad since he is an athlete so he is best in training the blind children to walk.

Talking to ‘The News’ Asad said, “I have limited options as far as jobs are concerned. I applied for physical trainer with a public sector school for handicapped children, but I was rejected. At many other jobs where I was on merit and also fell in the two per cent quota for handicapped, but the administrators employed one sighted person in my place.”

After getting desperate with the normal procedures he filed an application with the Chief Minister’s secretariat pleading for a job. The CM Secretariat then in April 2010, through a letter wrote to the District Coordination Officer (DCO) Rawalpindi to help Asad and provide him a suitable job. But even after a lapse of several months Asad is still unemployed. Asad expressed his wishes that he wants to do something for the blind people of Pakistan. He also wants to design the game of Karate for the blind persons according to their limitations. He is asking the government to help him in this regard.