KARACHI- Sindh Minister for Information and Transport Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, has said that the government is making extensive efforts to facilitate disable persons in the province including implementation of 5 percent job quota in government institutions while private sector would also be encouraged to provide employment to special persons.
Speaking at a seminar held in connection with International Day of Persons with Disabilities with them of “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all”, provincial minister for information said that the government has directed Sindh Building Control Authority SBCA to not approve construction plans of buildings which do not provide facilities to the disable persons.
The seminar was jointly organized by the Helping Hands for Relief & Development (HHRD) & Neurology Awareness & Research Foundation (NARF) in connection with International Day of Persons with Disabilities celebrated every year on December 03 across the globe.
Nasir Shah said that “Bilawal Bhutto has issued special directives for provision of jobs to special persons not only in the government but also in private sector besides providing them all necessary facilities. Though the directions issued to SBCA are not implemented the government has decided to take strict action. Disabled persons would be also be facilitated in transport, education and health sectors,” he assured.
Participants of the seminar urged the governments specifically Government of Sindh, persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, academic institutions and the private sector to work as a “team” to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Government of Sindh shall comply with the national law i.e. Disabled Persons Employment & Rehabilitation Act & everyone needs to do their part i.e. governments, the private sector, civil society and people.
President, Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation, Prof Muhammad Wasay said that the number of disable persons in Pakistan was growing at an alarming rate of 2.65 percent annually as the estimated 5.30 million population of the country was suffering with disability, children being the prime victims.
“Pakistan 43% of total disabled population comprises of children as compared to 10% of global percentage (2.18 Million); 1.4 Million children are of school age but no access to education”, Prof Wasay lamented.
He further informed that the disability rate in rural area was 65% while in urban area of the country 34% suffer from disabilities. The 58 percent men while 42 percent women suffer from some kind of disability. In Punjab the victims are 56% and 28% in Sindh.
Dr Wasay informed that only 14% of the disable persons are the part of workforce, only 10% have access to rehabilitation and 17% have access to social and educational support. “Types of disabilities included motor disability (35%); Multiple (8%); Blind (8%); mentally retarded (7%); Deaf (7%); Inasane/Psychiatric (6%); Others (35)”, he added.
Dr Wasay stressed for the special care of specials persons and informed that the stroke, trauma/ traumatic brain and cord injury, birth related; Meningitis/ infection/ Malaria & Mental health are the main causes of disability.” 25 to 30 percent of cases are curable/preventable”, he noted.
Dr Madiha Latif, Neuro psychologist, Erum Zehra, Occupational therapist, General Secretary Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation Dr Abdul Malik and Syed Ibn-e-Hasan, senior vice president of NBP also spoke on the occasion.
The participants of the seminar demanded that government shall implement with letter & spirit to facilitate disabled persons including implementation of minimum employment quota in all departments as per ratio of disabled persons in the society, implementation of law building construction plans to assist modes used by the persons with disabilities.
Among the other demands was to provide Special Computerized National Identity Card by NADRA, 50% concession on total charges of tickets to the disabled persons in Airlines, Railway, public and private transport companies, ensure to provide free treatment in all federal, provincial, district, tehsil, social security hospitals, dispensaries. Additionally, in private hospitals, government should make sure to provide 60% discount, they demanded.
The seminar demanded to ensure the implementation of special quota in Federal and Provincial Public Commission.
Globally at least 10% of the world’s population, or 650 million people, live with a disability. 20% of the world’s poor are disabled. The percentage of children with disabilities not attending school is extremely variable and is between 65 – 85% in some African countries. Mortality for children with disabilities may be as high as 80% in countries where under-five mortality as a whole has decreased to below 20%.
In the previous month, after disabled persons staged a protest outside the provincial assembly building against the non-provision of government jobs to them against the reserved quota, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah announced setting up a central office that will receive job applications of special persons.
Once the central office starts functioning, the disabled people would be able to submit job applications at one place, instead of visiting various government departments for different vacancies.