50 students with special needs get electric wheelchairs


Ahsan advises students to sharpen their mental strength to achieve success

Zubair Qureshi

Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, Prof Ahsan Iqbal Wednesday advised the university students with special needs to live and work like normal human beings. You only need to sharpen your mental strength which is ‘key to success’,” said the Minister while addressing a ceremony held at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat.

On the occasion, a number of electric wheelchairs were distributed among the students under the last phase of the Prime Minister’s Electric Wheelchair for University Students.

As many as 50 students received electric wheelchairs during the ceremony. In the first phase of the scheme, launched in 2017, 206 electric wheelchairs were provided to physically challenged university students, while 159 wheelchairs were handed over to students in the second phase.

Giving an example of the famous scientist, Stephen Hawking, the Minister said that an otherwise healthy person with no use of mental capabilities is worthless, while a physically challenged person who utilizes their mind can mark great achievements.

“The future of Pakistan depends on making right decisions on time, as any wrong decision can put the country’s future at stake,” said the Minister while urging the students to play their constructive role for the country’s growth.

Furthermore, he added that a country’s development gets haunted if there is lack of patience, perseverance as well as consistency of policies. Later, the Minister launched HEC’s Research for Innovation (RFI) portal.

Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed highlighted the Prime Minister’s Wheelchair Scheme for University Students and gave its background. The programme he said was first launched in 2017 with a view to help students with special needs to continue their educational journey. At the first stage, we are facilitating students who are physically handicapped while in the second stage or the second phase, visually-impaired students would be given special instruments and audio equipment.

The wheelchair recipient students also expressed their views on the occasion and thanked the HEC and the Planning Ministry for providing electric wheelchairs to them.

Executive Director HEC Dr Shaista Sohail, briefed the Minister on the salient features of the RFI portal and explained how it would strengthen linkages among academia, industry and Government to accelerate the process of commercialising the academic research.

Later, Prof Ahsan Iqbal launched the RFI and hoped it would serve to establish better coordination and linkages among academia, industry and the government.