Legal framework, government policies fail to address PWDs’ problems
Legal framework and government policies are multiplying the ordeals of persons with disabilities. The successive governments failed to count the persons with disabilities in country, making legislative efforts a futile exercise. The state authorities have turned their deaf ear towards the issues of persons with disabilities. There exists no surveillance mechanism to monitor the implementation of reserved quota.
Such observations were expressed by social activists and persons with disabilities in a plenary meeting jointly convened by Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM) and Faisalabad Union of Journalists (FUJ) which was presided over by PTI’s MPA Rai Firdous.
The other distinguished guests included Dr Najma Afzal, Nazia Sardar, Hamid Sultan Dawoodi, Nadeem Javed, Hamid Yaseen, Mian Iftikhar Ahmed, Dr Sajid Ali Sajid, Shazia George, Chaudhry Saleem and Naseem Anthony. The prime purpose of the meeting was to highlight the issues encountered by persons with disabilities and secure pledges of the participants to work collectively to address the issues of persons with disabilities.
Member Punjab Assembly PTI Rai Firdous said, “The empowerment of marginalized sections of the community is the priority agenda of the government and paying special attention on it.” She pledged, “The issues and concerns of civil society organisations and persons with disabilities would be raised on the floor of the house.”
Program Director AWAM, Naseem Anthony said, “Though the government has introduced several facilities and reserved special quota yet not addressed the issue of accessibility resultantly the persons with disabilities are failing to avail these benefits.” “The government must ensure the accessible and disability friendly environment in order to empower them,” he called upon.
Former member Punjab Commission on the Status of Women, Shazia George said, “There are existing legal framework and policies but no any exclusive department or authority is available as it is treated as an additional subject.” She called upon the decision makers, “It is imperative to introduce an exclusive department or authority to deal the affairs of persons with disabilities.”
Former Assistant Secretary Pakistan Federal Union of Journalist, Hamid Yaseen revealed on
Legal framework, “The Disabled People (Employment and Rehabilitation) Ordinance 1981 and further amendments to law are not accommodating the persons with disabilities according to the current demand of PWDs in Pakistan in general and in Punjab in specific.” He further added, “Since the government is party to UNCRPD and also under obligation to implement SDGs therefore must introduce a new legal framework harmonize with international commitments.”
Representative of Daily Business Recorder, Mian Iftikhar Ahmed said, “The accurate data of persons with disabilities is a big challenge that is hindering the departments to perform effectively.”