PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Monday announced that it would increase quota for special persons in government jobs from two percent to four percent.
Addressing a function held by the Provincial Right to Information Commission to mark the International Day for Persons with Disabilities at the Nishtar Hall here, the chief minister also promised the early passage of the bill for the special people’s welfare by the provincial assembly.
“The special people deserve special focus and the PTI government is taking practical steps to bring them to the mainstream of the society,” a statement issued by the CM Secretariat quoted the chief minister as saying.
Mr Mahmood said since assuming power in the province in 2013, the PTI had been relentlessly working on the ‘agenda of change’, which focused on the introduction of a culture of good governance.
He said the government would particularly focus its attention on expanding the social safety net, especially for special persons, in line with the first 100-day agenda announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan
The chief minister said he would ask the RTI Commission to arrange special awareness seminars for special persons in all districts of the province to enable them to learn about and get rights using the RTI law.
Promises early legislation for welfare of persons with disabilities
He said the social welfare department would introduce a management information system to help the government know about the special persons living in the province and prepare realistic plan for their welfare.
Special persons of different age groups from different organisations attended the event in large numbers. Some activities like the traditional attan dance were carried out involving special children.
Special person Zawar Noor, who runs a welfare organisation, said the persons with disabilities welcomed increase in the job quota for themselves as there was a need for including them in governance and giving them representation in local bodies and provincial and national assemblies.
“The persons with disabilities like members of minorities, women and peasants should be given representation at the local bodies functioning at the grassroots level,” he said.
The International Day for Persons with Disabilities was marked across the province.
In Khar area of Bajaur district, speakers at a function asked the government and local administration to empower the special persons by providing them with basic rights and financial support.
The event was organised by the Pakistan Red Crescent in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross at the Government High School, where tribal elders, religious leaders, political and social activists, and persons with disabilities showed up in large numbers.
PRC representatives Zahidullah and Shah Khalid said their organisation was making all-out efforts to empower the persons with disabilities in the district by providing them with basic facilities.
The leaders of All Bajaur Disabled Persons Association complained that they didn’t see any positive response of the government and local administration to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
They insisted that though the day had been marked in Bajaur tribal district for several years, both administration officials and lawmakers neither participated in them nor did they take notice of the problems facing special persons.
The association leader said the special persons registered in Bajaur district totaled over 7,000, the highest in the erstwhile Fata.
They complained about long delay in the issuance of Rs10 million grant to the persons with disabilities in Bajaur as announced in 2014 by the then KP governor, Mahtab Ahmad Khan.
They also regretted that action on the governor and administration’s announcements about the establishment of technical institutions for special persons in Bajaur hadn’t been taken in five years.
Tribal elders, religious scholars and social activists called for joint efforts to make the persons with disabilities the useful and respectable citizens of society by providing them with job opportunities and other basic facilities.
A cricket match was later played among persons with disabilities from Bajaur and Dir districts.
In Shangla, the physically-challenged men demanded government jobs and Sehat Insaf cards.
The demand made during an event at the district headquarters, Alpuri, where special persons, officials of the social welfare department, deputy commissioner and political activists were in attendance.
The special persons asked the administration and leaders of the ruling party to ensure provision of basic rights, especially stipends, health facilities and jobs to them.
The deputy commissioner promised them action of their demands.
He directed the social welfare department to collect data of special persons from all parts of Shangla district so that the government could give them stipends through Baitul Mal.
In Chitral, too, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was held.
In a function organised by the social welfare department, the district nazim announced a grant of Rs0.5 for the welfare of special persons in the district and said his government had been working on several special programmes for their development.
Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2018