ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) has so far distributed 2,387 wheelchairs to the deserving persons in the tenure of the incumbent government.
In a written reply submitted on Friday by the Minister In-charge of the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, the National Assembly was told that since the present government took over in August 2018, the PBM has received 2,043 applications for the provision of ordinary wheelchairs whereas since October 2020, it has received 1,607 applications for customized wheelchairs.
It was told that since then, the PBM has distributed 2,043 ordinary manual wheelchairs and 344 customized manual wheelchairs.
The House was told that 1,263 applications for the provision of wheelchairs are pending due to the slow manufacturing process being each wheelchair specifically customized according to the requirements of each beneficiary.
In order to accommodate the pending applications, the PBM has already floated a tender for the purchase of 3,000 wheelchairs.
In addition, it was apprised that the pilot project for the distribution of customized wheelchairs was launched in October 2020 in 21 districts of the Country but their distribution actually started in July 2021 after fulfilling/completing procedural requirements and codal formalities.
It was also told that the PBM accommodates each person in need of wheelchairs on a first come first serve basis but due to budgetary constraints and inclusion of new projects like “Panagahs” and “Ehsaas Koi Bhooka Na Soye”, the procurement of wheelchairs was temporarily slowed down.