ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: President Dr. Arif Alvi has underscored the need for developing a roadmap to address the issues being faced by differently-abled people (DAPs) and ensure universal access to Assistive Devices (ADs) for DAPs.
While chairing the first meeting of the National Steering Committee on Improving Access to Assistive Technology (AT) for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Islamabad on Wednesday, the president said that problem of disability was of great magnitude that required integrated efforts by provincial governments, and other concerned stakeholders to address it in an effective manner.
The meeting was attended by the Managing Director 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 (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan.
The managing director PBM briefed the committee about the steps taken by his organization for the facilitation and welfare of DAPs.
Aon Abbas Buppi informed that financial assistance, wheel-chairs and other assistive devices had been provided to PWDs.
The MD PBM apprised that a list of 25 types of ADs for PWDs on the basis of various disabilities had been developed as per World Health Organization’s (WHO) standards.
While addressing the meeting, the president said that PWDs were facing a number of problems in Pakistan like lack of customized assistive devices and access to public buildings.
The president 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 stressed the need to provide tax exemption to accessories which are used in assistive devices and artificial limbs.
President Arif Alvi appreciated the efforts made by the PBM for the welfare of PWDs.