For Mumtaz Rafiq, who is one such child, enrolling at the Karachi Vocational Training Centre (KVTC) 14 years ago was a life-changing decision. After two years of culinary training, he got a job at a fast-food chain and now earns Rs14,000 a month.
The centre, located in Phase IV, DHA, focuses on providing vocational training to people with cognitive disabilities. “It started off with a promise – to aim for something greater than the simple rehabilitation of totally neglected members of society. Slowly, people with similar goals started joining the initiative,” said Imran Sohail, who is a speech therapy specialist at the centre and develops the curriculum for children with cognitive disabilities. “We shattered the myth that children with cognitive disabilities cannot learn, hold jobs, earn livelihoods and live independently.”