President for coordinated efforts to address issues faced by Persons with Disabilities

Islamabad: President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday underscored the need for developing a road-map to address the issues being faced by Differently-Abled People (DAPs) and ensure universal access to Assistive Devices (ADs) for them.

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.

The President expressed these remarks while chairing the 1st meeting of the National Steering Committee on Improving Access to Assistive Technology for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

The meeting was attended by 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.

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. The President appreciated the efforts made by PBM for the welfare of PWDs.