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By Shermain Bique-Charles

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While many are hoping that 2021 will bring about hope in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the marginalized here have been told that they cannot depend on handouts and should begin to look out for themselves.

President of the Association of Persons Living with Disabilities, Bernard Warner, has firmly said to his members that they should begin to find ways to “fend” for themselves.

“We know there is a lot of heartache and distress out there due to lack of housing, food security and unemployment. But I want you to look at ways you can help yourselves and each other. Be strong and hold together. 2021 we forecast to be a better year but we don’t hold the keys to any seasons”, he said.

Such ways, he said, could be in agriculture, as he too has already starting a backyard farming project.

“We cannot rely on the state anymore like we use to…”, he cautioned.

According to Warner, who is also disabled, the year 2020 has proven to be a very challenging time for everybody and more so those with disabilities.

“We saw the shutdown of many countries and throughout the world people with disabilities would have suffered a lot of setbacks through the lack of socialization and moral support”, Warner stated.

Warner who has been championing the cause of the disabled here also wants the government to look at the implementation of the Disability and Equal Opportunity Act in of 2017.

“This way it will give the disabled community the respect and comfort and support that we have been asking for, for many years,” he said.

Warner said he looks forward to the continued support from the government, opposition and regular citizens in Antigua and Barbuda.