Database of 16.45 lakh people with disability completed: minister

DHAKA, The government has prepared a database of

16,44,608 physically challenged persons, of them 47,417 suffering from autism

spectrum disorder (ASD).

Department of Social Service (DSS) has so far identified 16,44,608

people with disability and completed their database. Of them 47,417 are

suffering from autism syndrome, said Social Welfare Minister Nuruzzaman

Ahmed.

Addressing a press briefing at the ministry's conference room here

today, the minister said the government has set up 103 service and aid

centres for disabled persons. Each service and aid centre includes an autism

resource centre to provide services to autistic people, he added.

We have started disbursement of allowances to beneficiaries through

electronic system and it will be expanded across the country in phases, said

Nuruzzaman.

State Minister for Social Welfare Sharif Ahmed and secretary of the

ministry Zuena Aziz were present at the press briefing.

The minister said the government would observe the 12th annual World

Autism Awareness Day tomorrow in the country as elsewhere in the globe with a

pledge to include the people suffering from autism and other physical

disabilities into the mainstream of development process.

The theme of this year is: 'Assistive Technologies, Active

Participation'.

The social welfare ministry will organise a programme at the capital's

Bangabandhu International Conference Centre around 10:30 am on the occasion.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the programme.

Nuruzzaman said the government has prepared a central database for

social safety net programme through Management Information System (MIS) which

includes information of 56 lakh beneficiaries.

He said the present government allocated Taka 64,656 crore for social

safety net programme in 201819 financial year, which was only Taka 373 crore

in 20052006 during the BNPJamaat regime.

The government also increased the number of beneficiaries in different

schemes, with an aim to improve the living standard of the poor and

underprivileged, said the minister.

According to the ministry, in the 201718 fiscal, the government

allocated Taka 54,206 crore for social safety net scheme and Taka 45,230

crore in the fiscal year 201617.

The government also increased the number of recipients of old age

allowances to four million from 3.5 million, widow and oppressed women

allowances to 1.4 million from 1.2 million, disability allowances to one

million from 825,000, stipends for students with disabilities from 80,000 to

90,000, and maternity allowances to 700,000 from 600,000.

There is also a proposal to increase the number of beneficiaries of

special allowances and stipends for the Bede and the underprivileged to

64,000 from 36,000.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)