Challenged people to get smart cards

All people with disabilities will get smart identity cards by the end of December 2017.

A survey of the department of social services under the social welfare ministry has identified 15.10 lakh challenged people across the country. A strong database is being developed with all required information of those people.

Social Welfare Ministry Secretary-in-Charge M Zillur Rahman told BSS that the government has undertaken a plan to distribute smart cards among the challenged people on the basis of the database by December 2017.

If the smart cards cannot be distributed within the stipulated time, it must be completed by the first quarter of 2018, he added.

The secretary-in-charge said the department of social welfare has started working to give provisional identity cards to the challenged people as per the list of the survey.

At the same time, it is developing the database, which is expected to end by May 2017, he said, adding that after completion of the database the government will conduct research over the information of the database to unearth reasons of disabilities and ways to prevent those.

Zillur Rahman said the ministry will try to ensure all possible facilities, including government job, for the challenged people on the basis of the information available in the database.

Referring to various facilities offered to the challenged people, he said the government is giving therapeutic services, training and counseling to about 10,000 challenged people daily through 103 service centres under Jatiya Protibondhi Unnayan Foundation.

Besides, there are 10 free schools for autistic children under this foundation, he said, adding that 32 mobile therapy vans are giving early screening, assessment and intervention services across the country, which is rare even in a developed country.

This foundation was set up in 1999 during the first tenure of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the secretary-in-charge mentioned.

The government, he said, distributed allowances amounting to Taka 540 crore among 7.5 lakh insolvent challenged people this year.

The government also distributed stipends worth Taka 50 crore among 70,000 students with disabilities, he added.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)