Turkey's state-run aid agency on Wednesday launched cricket and football training facilities for children with special needs in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi with the participation of the Pakistani president.
The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) set up cricket training pitches and football stadium especially designed for hearing and visually impaired children at Ida Rieu School for Blind and Deaf, Karachi.
The school is one of the largest educational facilities for children with special needs in Pakistan with an enrollment of over 800 students.
TIKA has also upgraded the digital technology to help provide better study opportunities at the 100-year-old school located in the heart of Karachi.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Pakistan's President Arif Alvi thanked Ankara for setting up the sports facilities for children with special needs, who are an "inseparable" part of any society.
Calling for incorporating people with special needs into the society, Alvi said: "We must help them to feel normal because they are as normal as every one of us."
He further thanked Ankara for lending its support to Islamabad in every trying time.
Highlighting the importance of sports among youth, Turkish Consul General in Karachi Tolga Uçak hoped that the sports facilities set up by TIKA will support talent and pave the way for mainstream sports for children with special needs.
The decadeslong friendship between Pakistan and Turkey, he noted, has gained more strength with every passing day.
TIKA's Karachi Coordinator Ibrahim Katirci said the aid agency has established a number of projects for Pakistani youth in recent years, ranging from libraries to vocational training centers and music classrooms.
TIKA has already actualized a number of educational and sports projects across Pakistan, mainly in the less-developed areas of Sindh and Balochistan provinces.