ISLAMABAD (APP – 16 March 2023): President Dr Arif Alvi Thursday urged the need for the capacity building and career counselling of persons with different abilities (PWDs), and matching their skills with jobs.
He said 10-14% of Pakistan’s population was suffering from some form of disability, and collective measures needed to be taken by the government and the private sector for their financial and social inclusion.
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The president made these remarks during a presentation on “the role of financial services for the facilitation of persons with disabilities”, given by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), Dr Rashid Bajwa, here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
Chief Executive Officer of Network of Organizations Working with Persons with Disabilities (NOWPDP) Omair Ahmad, Executive Director of National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) Dr Khalid Mehmood, Director Islamic Finance Department of the State Bank of Pakistan Ghulam Muhammad, Additional Finance Secretary Aamer Mehmood Hussain, Technical Advisor at the World Health Organisation Dr Maryam Mallick, and senior government officials attended the meeting.
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The president said differently-abled people (DAPs) in Pakistan faced various physical and financial limitations and they needed to be facilitated by providing them access to financial services and employment opportunities to make them financially independent.
Society was required to play its role for the welfare and facilitation of DAPs, he added.
Dr Rashid Bajwa highlighted the steps taken by the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) for the empowerment of DAPs and women, and the support being provided by the NRSP to farmers and small landholders in rural areas.
He said the NRSP was the largest provider of micro-financial services in Pakistan and was working in 72 districts for the welfare of underprivileged communities.
Dr Bajwa further highlighted the contributions made by the NRSP for the welfare and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities (PWDs). He said the NRSP was supporting the PWDs by providing them financial services, artificial limbs, and rehabilitation services.
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He apprised that the NRSP had disbursed Rs 150.5 million to the PWDs through loans, besides providing micro health insurance coverage to 3,346 PWDs and artificial limbs to 14,039 PWDs.
NAVTTC Executive Director Dr Khalid Mehmood informed the meeting that his organization was going to offer free-of-charge training and skills for the DAPs, besides providing them free lodging and pick-and-drop facilities.
SBP’s Director Islamic Finance Ghulam Muhammad said internship programmes for the DAPs would soon be launched by the banks.
The president appreciated the contributions made by the NRSP for the welfare and empowerment of the PWDs. He said the NRSP was doing a tremendous job and other institutions should also follow its example.
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