LAHORE: A group of visually-impaired persons is braving smog and rain for the past three days while holding a sit-in to demand regular jobs against the quota seats.

The protesters are seen wearing plastic sheets and warm clothes to protect themselves from changing weather. They allege that the Punjab government is giving a deaf ear to their demands. The officials deny it and say the government is actively working to complete due process to bring them in the mainstream of government service.

Since the visually-impaired persons are serving on a daily wages basis, the officials said there was no law to regularise their services in one go.

“The visually-impaired are being given special consideration because at times, they don’t get recruited in disabled quota for having a major disability,” said Implementation and Coordination Secretary Masood Mukhtar.

He told Dawn that the government had assured the protesters of full support for their adjustment and was just requesting them to clear the road. He said 620 visually-impaired people had been identified and a special cell set up in the secretariat that had been working for the last 36 hours to offer contract jobs to daily wagers.

“When they will serve on contract posts for four years, they can have the claim to get their services regularised,” he said and added the other option would be advertisement for vacant posts and then recruitment through competitive process on a regular basis.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2019