Indian first lady Savita Kovind has commended Government for its efforts in improving the quality of life of persons living with disabilities.
Ms Kovind also hailed Zambia's First Lady Esther Lungu for her passion in improving the livelihoods of the vulnerable in society especially the physically challenged through her foundation.
She said persons living with disabilities deserved the same attention as the able bodied and it was gratifying to see the Government put in place measures to address the issues attached to disabilities and creating a conducive environment for everyone to thrive.
Ms Kovind said this yesterday when she accompanied First Lady Esther Lungu to the Zambia Institute of Special Education (ZAMISE) in Lusaka.
She also made a donation of K10, 000 to ZAMISE to help the institution in addressing infrastructure challenges.
And Ms Lungu said people with special needs had the potential to contribute to national development and the Government had salvaged something from them as some had been employed while others had become entrepreneurs.
She said it was important for the Government and the private sector to continue to support ZAMISE as it educates teachers to teach children with special needs.
Ms Lungu said in March last year when she visited the institution, she offered a K120, 000 towards the construction of the early childhood development center and was paying K10,000 monthly till last month.
"Children with special needs are created by God and need to be shown the care they need to be given the amenities that everyone else enjoys, they have the right to education, social life and it is my passion to see that these people are appreciated by society," Ms Lungu said.
Meanwhile, General Education Minister David Mabumba said President Edgar Lungu had been promoting inclusive governance and the children of special needs were an integral part.
ZAMISE principal Grace Kachenga said the institution was established in 1971 as an in-service training college to enable trained teachers to handle children with special needs adequately.
Ms Kachenga said the mandate of the institution was last year changed and was now training teachers not only in special education, but also for other subjects and had 47 academic staff and 32 support staff.