KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly was on Monday informed that the provincial government still did not have actual numbers of differently-abled persons across the province.
While furnishing a statement and replies to lawmakers’ written and verbal queries during Question Hour in the house, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla admitted that the actual data of differently-abled persons was yet to be collected and that the work to ascertain their number was being done.
Mr Chawla was responding on behalf of Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah who also holds the portfolio of department of empowerment of persons with disabilities.
The house reconsiders and passes Sindh Letters of Administration and Succession Certificates Bill
Grand Democratic Alliance’s Nusrat Sehar Abbasi had verbally asked the minister if the provincial government had collected data of differently-abled women in Sindh.
Minister Chawla said: “Work is being done and we will collect data of entire Sindh by the end of June this year.”
5pc job quota for differently abled
He stated that the provincial government was committed to ensure implementation of a five per cent quota allocated for differently-abled persons in all government departments and private offices.
“The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities has already given jobs to 46 differently-abled persons but the recruitment procedure at some other government institutions was halted owing to the Covid-19 pandemic,” the minister added.
He said that the provincial government would also ensure implementation of the 5pc quota at private sector including banks and multinational companies.
In reply to a question, Mr Chawla informed the house that there were 64 special education centres across the province and the provincial government was expanding the same, adding that a special education centre at Sujawal would be opened soon where differently-abled persons would be taught how to drive rickshaw.
The minster added that the provincial government had established the Special Education Teachers Training Academy Sindh (SETTAS) at Kotri, district Jamshoro for enhancing professional skills of staff through in-service training.
To a written question by GDA’s Arif Mustafa Jatoi, he said that no funds had been earmarked for economic support to handicapped women in the province during 2018-19.
In reply to another question, the minister said that there was one special training centre in district Tharparkar where 28 disabled children were registered.
To a question asked by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Rana Ansar, Mr Chawla said that there were 18 centres for rehabilitation of disabled persons in the province and 247 employees working against the 274 sanctioned posts there.
Replying to a question by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Rabistan Khan, he said that 27 training courses were offered to blind and deaf people.
He said that the courses included chair knitting, music, call-centre training, salesmanship, PABX board operation, packing, stitching, candle making, welding, tailoring, auto mechanic, electric work and embroidery.
Speaking on facilities being provided at the centres, the minister informed the house that the children were given free pick and drop, free uniform, shoes, books and Rs2,000 stipend each.
‘80pc RO plants in Thar non-functional’
To a calling-attention notice by GDA’s Abdul Razzaque Rahimoon, Public Health Engineering Minister Shabbir Bijarani said that a new contractor would be taking over control of 632 RO plants and two mega plants installed in Tharparkar.
Speaking on his notice, MPA Rahimoon said that 80pc of RO plants installed in Thar were either non-functional or out of order.
He said that the RO plant at Chhachhro was also out of order.
“When the RO plant at the district headquarters is not functional, what would be the condition of RO plants in remote and rural part of the district?” he asked.
“We want to make all RO plants functional,” Minister Bijarani added without mentioning the actual number of non-functional RO plants.
MPA Rahimoon also pointed out that the staff on the 20pc functional RO plants had not been paid salaries for the past one year.
“Local people collect donations and pay the operators of the RO plants their salaries,” he disclosed.
Replying to another calling-attention notice of PTI’s Adeeba Hassan, Women Development Minister Syeda Shehla Raza said that women victims of domestic violence were given legal support and medical assistance by her department.
She admitted a rise in domestic violence cases in parts of the province, particularly in Khairpur and Pano Aqil, but added that the department could not control domestic violence inside homes.
The PTI MPA had asked what steps were taken by the department regarding redress of “increasing” cases of domestic violence in Sukkur and its surrounding areas.
Meanwhile, the assembly passed the Sindh Trusts (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
“It is expedient to make suitable amendments in the Act to enable the legal persons to create a trust to be its beneficiary and to provide mechanism for registration of trusts,” the statement of object and reasons of the bill read.
The Sindh Letters of Administration and Succession Certificates Bill, 2021 — the bill sent back by the governor — was also reconsidered and passed with a slight amendment.
The Millennium Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship Bill, 2020 was also passed.
Later, the session was prorogued.
Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2021*