ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education has issued 100,000 special identity cards to disabled persons that would facilitate them to claim concessions on travelling fares of state-owned Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Railways.
Federal Minister for Social Welfare and Special Education Samina Ghurki said on Wednesday the ministry also plans to include public transport under this scheme. To make railway stations more disabled friendly, the federal minister said that work on the construction of ramps has already started on major railway stations and it would be extended to smaller stations as well.
She further said that Capital Development Authority (CDA) has allocated land for the construction of Pakistan Bait ul Mal (PBM) head office in Sector G-12 where a three-storey building will be constructed at the cost of Rs63 million. Currently the head office of PBM is located in the boy’s hostel meant for the students of special education. “As soon as the building is completed, the office will be shifted from the boy’s hostel,” she said.
Talking about the implementation of two per cent quota for the disabled in public sector, she said that they would monitor the implementation of said quota after the ongoing recruitment is completed. About the long-standing demand of special persons for quota in National Assembly, she said that the issue is under consideration.
The minister further said that the ministry also runs a helpline (0519207554) where special persons can register their complaints. She said that they have received very few calls from the special persons on this helpline.
Talking about the ongoing projects of the ministry, she said that currently 127 centres are functioning under Directorate of Special Education that provide education, skill training and rehabilitation facilities to around 6,000 special children.
She said that ministry ran 46 projects for the welfare of general public and special people during the last financial year. “Only PBM is operating 350 outlets for the benefit of around 125,000 households and their children under different schemes,” she added.
It must be noted here that budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education decreased to 42 per cent this year as compared to financial year 2009-10. Last year, the ministry received Rs161.158 million that has reduced to Rs79 million this year whereas the budget for PBM this year is Rs1.2 billion.