The government is making a plan to bring all persons with disabilities from children to old-age citizens under a social protection programme and for a constant survey to identify the disabled people across the country.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said this today while addressing a function on the occasion of the 25th International Day of Persons with Disabilities and 18th National Day of Persons with Disabilities at Osmani Memorial Hall here today.
Sheikh Hasina said every disabled person would get financial support from the government along with health and education facilities. Every school should have equal facilities for the disabled children for education with other students, she said.
The prime minister urged the corporate sectors and well-off people to widen their doors for development and employment of the disabled persons.
The day is being observed in Bangladesh with theme "Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want", which notes the recent adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of these goals in building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities.
Health Minister Mohammad Nasim and chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Affairs Ministry Dr Mozammel Hossain attended the function as special guests while State Minister for Social Welfare Nuruzzaman Ahmed was in the chair.
President of the National Forum of Organizations Working with Disabled Rajab Ali Khan Najib also spoke on the occasion while Secretary in Charge of Social Welfare Ministry Zillar Rahman gave the welcome address.
The prime minister distributed crests and certificates among different organizations and individuals in three categories for their outstanding contribution to welfare and development of the disabled persons in the country.
The prime minister also inaugurated an eight-day "Protibondhi Uttaran Mela" (Disabled Development Fair) at Mirpur 14 under the auspices of the Dhaka North City Corporation through a video conference with DNCC Mayor Ansiul Haq.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said she is hopeful about future of the
persons living with disabilities and their position in the society would be strengthened. "Many people living with disabilities are brilliant. We have to create scope for them to flourish their talent," she said.
She said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman guaranteed the basic rights of the disabled persons and people of other disadvantageous groups in the constitution after independence. But his brutal death was a blow to the way of implementing the plan.
The prime minister said the foremost responsibility of the government is to serve the people giving priority to the neglected sections of the society.
Out of their spirit, Sheikh Hasina said she and her sister Sheikh Rehana donated their inherited property at Dhanmondi Road No 32 to a trust dedicated to the welfare of the people and studies of poor and physically impaired children.
The prime minister said the prime objective of her government is to change the fate of all people where disabled persons would not be dropped out. In view of this, a foundation was established for welfare of the disabled persons after her party assumed office in 1996, she added.
The government has also enacted various legal frameworks in addition to ratifying the international laws for protection of the rights of the disabled person, she said, adding that the education policy clearly stipulated that disability should not be a barrier to education for any children.
Pointing out the programmes taken by her government for welfare of the
disabled people, the prime minister said every disabled child is getting scholarship and brail books are being distributed among the visually impaired children.
So far 103 service centers were established as part of the government's plan to establish service centers in every district and upazila for disabled persons where around five lakh autistic children are getting different services free of cost, she said.
Besides, 32 mobile therapy vans were introduced in rural areas to give
service to the disabled persons across the country apart from diagnosing the disability of the people, she added.
In this regard, the prime minister mentioned her daughter's dedicated
services to the children suffering from autism saying her service has
contributed to creating a massive awareness in people about the metabolic disorder.
Sheikh Hasina praised the excellence of the disabled children in the sports arena saying they are bringing much honour for us from abroad. They have secured many prestigious prizes at international level abroad including gold medal in Par- Olympics brightening country's image, she said.
Announcing her government's plan to establish a school for disabled beside the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, the prime minister said the government has allocated about Taka 540 crore for allowance to insolvent disabled persons.
Social Welfare Ministry has so far identified 15 lakh people living with disability and out of them about 7.5 lakh are getting monthly allowance, she said.
"A person was not born with disability at his/her wish. So we have to be careful and sincere to them and our supporting hand should be extended to them," she said.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)