Coordinated efforts needed to address issues faced by disabled: President

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Staff Reporter

President Dr Arif Alvi has said that coordinated efforts and a road-map are needed to address the problems being faced by persons with disabilities and ensure universal access to Assistive Devices (ADs) for them.

Chairing the first meeting of the National Steering Committee on Improving Access to Assistive Technology for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) here on Wednesday, he said that the problem of disability was of great magnitude which required integrated efforts by provincial governments, and other concerned stakeholders to address it in an effective manner.

Managing Director (MD) Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM), Aon Abbas Buppi, senior officials of Ministries of Human Rights, Industries, Science and Technology, and provincial governments including Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan attended the meeting. MD PBM briefed the committee about the steps taken by his organization for the facilitation and welfare of DAPs.

He informed that financial assistance, wheel-chairs and other assistive devices had been provided to PWDs. He apprised that a list of 25 types of ADs for PWDs on the basis of various disabilities had been developed as per the World Health Organization’s standards.
The President further said that PWDs were facing a number of problems in Pakistan like lack of customized assistive devices and access to public buildings.
He emphasized the need for enhanced collaboration among provinces as well as with international bodies to serve the cause of PWDs in a better way.
The meeting agreed to appoint focal persons by the concerned ministries for better coordination among provinces.

The meeting also stressed the need to provide tax exemption to accessories which are used in assistive devices and artificial limbs. President Alvi appreciated the efforts made by PBM for the welfare of PWDs.