352 electric wheelchairs distributed among disable university students

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Staff Reporter

A total of 352 electric wheelchairs were distributed among students with physical and permanent ambulatory disabilities under Prime Minister’s Electric Wheelchair Scheme for University Students” in last two years.

According to official source, out of which some 206 wheelchairs were distributed in phase one in 2019-20 and 146 in phase II among the deserving students during the year 2020-21.

Higher Education Commission (HEC) was planning to distribute remaining 248 wheelchairs among public sector university students having physical and permanent ambulatory disability in phase III.

Total cost of the project was Rs 131 million. Out of which Rs 120 million were reserved for procuring 600 wheelchairs for onward distribution among deserving students in three years period.

The wheelchairs were being distributed among students with physical and permanent ambulatory disabilities to such a degree that they were unable to move from place to place without the aid of a wheelchair.

HEC was considering to procure additional wheelchairs to meet swelling demands if any. Under the scheme, at least two electric wheelchairs would also be distributed in 424 federal education institutes to facilitate differently-abled students and visitors to educational institutions.

The main objective of the scheme was to facilitate special students having ambulatory disability, so that they can be assisted in their movements and contribute effectively towards the progress of the country.

The scheme was aligned with the United Nation’s Standard Development Goals (SDGs) projecting to eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable persons with disabilities, indigenous people and children in vulnerable situations’ by 2030. As per data of Census 1998, there were 622,025 disabled (crippled) persons in Pakistan.

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