KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday said that his government was planning to reserve seats of persons with disabilities in local bodies so that they could participate in decision-making process at the local level.

“I am keen to invest in the rehabilitation of differently-abled persons by establishing units in every district, but I need devoted, dedicated and God-fearing volunteers because this selfless service needs to be done with affection, personal care and love,” he said while speaking at a programme on International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The programme was organised by the provincial department of empowerment of persons with disabilities (DEPD) at the CM House. It was attended by Sindh Minister Sajid Jokhio, Parliamentary Secretary Kulsoom Chandio, Special Assistant Sadiq Memon, and members of civil society and NGOs working for rehabilitation of differently-abled persons.

The CM said there was a dire need to work for rehabilitation of differently-abled persons all over Sindh.

Launches ConnectHear App through which persons with hearing imparity will be able to communicate

Offers support to ‘genuine’ organisations

“The provincial government is ready to support genuine organisations to establish autism centres, rehabilitation units for persons with mental health conditions, intellectual disabilities, vision impairment and deafness,” he said, adding: “This is a very sensitive work which could not be done merely with funds... it was done with personal care, love, affection and dedication.”

He said his representatives/ministers who worked for the empowerment of differently-abled persons had completely changed in their day-to-day life and in their approach to handling things. “The service to the persons with disabilities has given them [ministers] a spiritual satisfaction and the same satisfaction I have witnessed among the teachers, trainers, physiotherapists and volunteers serving to them [special persons],” he said.

Mr Shah said that when he took over as chief minister, there was a department of special education with some schools where enrolment was very thin. “I have created a fully fledged department of empowerment of persons with disabilities which has over 60 centres, some of them were devolved by the federal government to the provincial government,” he said.

“We have worked on every kind of disabled person to bring them into the mainstream,” he said and added that he would further strengthen the newly-established Sujawal rehabilitation centre.

Efforts on for 5pc job quota

The CM said his government had enacted different laws to provide legal cover for the proper care, education, rehabilitation, and vocational training of the persons with disabilities. “I am trying my best to implement a five per cent quota of differently-abled persons in government jobs,” he said.

On the occasion, children with special needs of different centres of many cities and NGOs staged tableaus and national songs. A one-act play was also staged to observe the day.

On the occasion, ConnectHear App was formally launched through which persons with hearing imparity would be able to communicate. Presently, 3,000 persons were using the application.

A unified sign language with 4,000 words was also inaugurated and Language Act of 2018 Rules 2021 was also inaugurated in Braille Language.

Special Assistant to CM Sadiq Memon said his department had started registering persons with disabilities and so far 245,000 persons had been registered.

“The registration is being carried out so that necessary schemes for their rehabilitation can be made,” he said.

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2021

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