ISLAMABAD: The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) has launched a countrywide service to register physically challenged and seriously ill people on their doorstep.
The service, which in the past was arguably used to appease influential persons and their relatives, will now be available to the common people who really need it.
Under the service, the Nadra employees equipped with biometric verification machines will not just visit such applicants to register them but also deliver their computerised national identity cards (CNICs) to their homes.
A senior Nadra official said the project was in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of providing maximum facilities to public by bringing about an improvement in service delivery.
He said the facility was aimed at serving bed-ridden patients, physically or mentally challenged persons and elderly people at their homes. The ManPack mobile units for home-based registration process were meant to facilitate the segment of society that is unable to visit Nadra offices or otherwise faces problems in getting their identity documents from there.
In order to avail the facility, the eligible people will have to apply to Nadra’s regional/zonal offices or its centres. The processing will be carried out as per the existing registration policy.
According to Nadra spokesman, the ManPack unit will be sent to the residence of such applicants to complete the entire process at their homes. He said they would also get their CNICs delivered to their homes within the stipulated period.
He said physically impaired, seriously ill and elderly people were deprived of their basic identity document just because they found it hard to visit Nadra centres. He said even those who managed to come along with their family members or relatives had to go through all the stages of the registration process. He said the Nadra chairman had issued directions to the relevant officials to make special arrangements for special persons.
To ensure that eligible citizens, especially women and socially excluded groups, get CNICs and are registered as voters is one of the goals set by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in its third five-year strategic plan it recently launched.
As part of the strategic plan, the ECP intends to develop and execute a plan with clear targets for Nadra to bridge gender gap and ensure issuance of CNICs to all eligible citizens.
The ECP has led several major initiatives in the recent past to address the issues being faced by physically challenged men and women in registration to acquire CNICs and become a voter. It had also set up a working group on gender and disability, headed by ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad, to suggest ways and means not only to facilitate registration of physically impaired individuals as voters but also for making appropriate arrangements for them at the polling stations to enable them to exercise their right to franchise without any unnecessary hassle.
Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2019