Visually impaired people's sit-in for 'regularised livelihood' enters third day in Lahore

November 06, 2019

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Protesters in Lahore demand provision of livelihood to visually impaired people, regualrisation of "daily wagers". — DawnNewsTV
Protesters in Lahore demand provision of livelihood to visually impaired people, regualrisation of "daily wagers". — DawnNewsTV

Scores of visually impaired people continued their protest sit-in for the third consecutive day on Wednesday in Lahore, demanding the government to ensure a "regularised livelihood" for them.

Umar Rasheed, a leader of the protesters and president of a union of "blind daily wagers" in Punjab, while speaking to Dawn.com said that the government has been ignoring their demand since day one.

He said the one-point agenda of the protesters was "regularised livelihood" for all visually impaired people across the province.

He said that some 1,000 visually impaired persons hired as daily-wage employees in various departments of the provincial government receive their salaries after an interval of several months and are not assigned any work in their respective departments.

The visually impaired daily wagers are not assigned any designation either, Rasheed said, adding that the entire scenario betrays that the daily wagers programme is a "temporary" arrangement.

According to Rasheed, the protesters are demanding the regularisation of employment for the daily wagers and provision of livelihood to jobless visually impaired people.

He said instead of government officials, only police officers were approaching them with mere assurances and intimidation. He said that a day earlier they intercepted the vehicle of provincial minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan outside Chief Minister House but instead of engaging the protesters in talks, the minister changed his route.

The protest leader said that more than 100 visually impaired people are taking part in today's protest.