ISLAMABAD, Jul 29 (APP): First Lady Begum Samina Arif Alvi on Friday emphasized the need to impart inclusive education to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in mainstream educational institutions and equip them with the latest and in-demand technical and vocational skills.
The first lady, addressing a virtual meeting on disability with members of the civil society organizations working for the welfare of differently-abled people (DAPs) in Balochistan, at Aiwan-e-Sadr, ueged the welfare organizations to create awareness among PWDs about the business loans being offered by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on easy terms and conditions for their financial independence.
Technical Advisor from the World Health Organization (WHO), Maryam Malik, and representatives of the Balochistan Government, NGOs, and welfare foundations attended the meeting via video link.
Begum Samina Alvi highlighted that a unified platform with representation from government, NGOs and welfare foundations was essential for better coordination among different stakeholders as it would help in exchanging information and best practices and coming up with cost-effective solutions to address the issues of PWDs.
She said that the issuance of disability certificates to PWDs needed to be made easier through One Window facilities by establishing and operationalizing them through the assistance of provincial social welfare, health departments and NADRA.
The first lady highlighted that PWDs, especially the physically impaired persons, faced hindrances in mobility which should be addressed by providing them with Assistive Technology like wheelchairs, and making marketplaces, public spaces, banks, and buildings accessible by installing wheelchair-friendly ramps.
The participants of the meeting briefed the first lady about the role of their respective organizations towards the welfare of PWDs in Balochistan and the issues being faced by the differently-abled people.
It was highlighted that efforts needed to be accelerated to ensure the implementation of the Balochistan Persons with Disabilities Act, 2017 to ensure that the benefits enshrined in the policy reach PWDs.
The participants presented their suggestions to address the issues being faced by PWDs in getting disability certificates, inclusive education in regular schools, and jobs as per the 5% quota for PWDs belonging to Balochistan.
The first lady appreciated that Balochistan was the first province to introduce the Balochistan Persons with Disabilities Act, 2017.
She assured the participants of her support and guidance towards the resolution of issues being faced by PWDs.