ISLAMABAD, July 1st President Asif Ali Zardari has said Pakistan Peoples Party and the President House will take up the cause of disabled children as a special project to make them useful citizens of the country. ?We will adopt look after these children and work for their welfare and well being,? President Zardari said at a function of Special Children here at the President House.
He said it was high time that the government looked after these children who have not been given proper attention in the past.
?I promise to stand with the disabled of Pakistan,? President Zardari said.
He hoped that the event will create realization at the local and international level to take up their cause.
The President said he would ask the government to set up special centers at all district headquarters even at the rented buildings, which will be gradually shifted to permanent custom-built buildings.
He said similarly one school in every district will be converted into a special education centre to cater to the needs of special children.
The President said he will recommend the government that the teachers for special education, who are still in BPS 17 for the past ten years will be promoted to the next grade.
He said a special category will be created to accommodate the special children in Benazir Income Support Program.
The President on this occasion also gave away prizes to the group leaders of the special children, who performed at the function.
The event that began with the recitation of Holy Quran by a visually impaired girl child of Al-Maktoom Special Education Centre comprised national and folk songs by the special children from the National Institute of Special Education.
The energetic children also performed a ?dhamal? at the tune of popular song. The President also witnessed a display of paintings done by the disabled children and appreciated the strong desire by them to excel in all areas.
He shook hands and lauded their performance, besides having a photo session with them.
Minister for Social Welfare and Special Education Samina Khalid Ghurki in her remarks said the Ministry has 127 special education centers across the country and there was a need to increase these to cater to the large population of disabled.
She said the ministry has formulated a national policy for disabled which will cater to the needs of special children in the area of education, IT, sports etc.
The Minister said a national action plan has also been prepared for the implementation of this policy.
She said the ministry also intends to set up an equipment bank for the free provision of wheel chairs, white sticks and other necessary equipment to the people with various disabilities.
She said the ministry was also working the details to insure persons with severe or multiple disabilities.
The President was also informed that the provision of wheel chairs, hearing aids, white canes and rehabilitative aids would be enhanced.
She said a section of the F-9 park has also been developed for easier access the physically disabled persons.
Secretary Special Education Imtiaz Qazi in his opening remarks said the federal cabinet in its meeting in June has approved various recommendations of the ministry including the insurance scheme for people with severe disabilities, micro-credit facilities, 50 per cent concession in air and rail fair for special people.
The event was attended among others by Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira, Advisor to PM on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain, members of the parliament and senior officials.