President for extensive facilitation of disabled at NADRA centers
ISLAMABAD – President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday emphasized the need for uniform, comprehensive and all-inclusive facilitation of Differently-Abled Persons (DAPs) for their registration with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
Talking to NADRA Chairman Muhammad Tariq Malik, the president stressed on resolving the issues pertaining to issuance of identity cards, provision of healthcare facilities, and assessment of their disability level and its nature in a hassle-free manner.
He said the DAPs’ inclusiveness was essential for developing a strong and healthy society.
During the meeting, the president urged the need for a comprehensive and inclusive awareness campaign at the national and provincial levels to eliminate discrimination against the DAPs in society and to remove stigmas and stereotypes.
He also called for granting complete access to the disabled in mainstream educational institutions without any discrimination or non-professional treatment. He said training institutions should take steps for the inclusion of DAPs, and devise special curricula and techniques for their skill development.
He said employers should factor in their disabilities and create special jobs for the disabled, besides providing them with Assistive Technology so that their full potential could be realized.
The president said the medical boards to assess the disability of the DAPs across Pakistan should have the same terms of reference, procedures, and forms.
He appreciated NADRA for giving free-of-cost services to the DAPs, establishing exclusive counters, and creating barrier-free access in most of its centers across the country.
President Alvi also emphasized the need for creating awareness of different incentives and schemes offered for the DAPs at various levels, including stipends under the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), discounted entry at Metro Bus Service, BRT Peshawar, railways and Pakistan International Airlines so that they could avail the services and enhance their productivity.
The president also appreciated the issuance of juvenile cards by NADRA and also urged the need to create plastic-based cards for the DAPs from ages five to nine years, which would be useful for them and also be easy to keep.
He said the best practices developed by NADRA to facilitate the PWDs (People with disabilities), and the best practices of other federal institutions in providing services to the DAPs should be shared with all the provinces at all levels for their duplication to provide better facilities to them.
He also appreciated NADRA for maintaining a record of around 0.6 million registered disabled persons, stressing that the0 ratio needed to be increased.
The president said that unfortunately the DAPs continued to face a wide array of issues, including the lack of wheelchair-friendly ramps, screen readers, braille, signage, and employment opportunities, and stressed the need for all relevant stakeholders to take measures for extending the benefits of the modern and Assistive Technology to support them.
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