Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged schools to discard a general reservation against retarded children saying one’s disability must not be a reason to keep him or her from education.
“General educational institutions don’t want to enroll the children with disabilities. This mentality will have to be removed,” she said while inaugurating the 10th World Autism Awareness Day at Osmani Memorial Auditorium on Sunday.
“We always give highest priority to education. But that must be uniformed,” she said.
The Ministry of Social Welfare arranged the programme. The day is being observed in the country as elsewhere of the globe with the theme — “Toward Autonomy and Self-Determination”.
Hasina said the talent of the disabled children is endless.
“I am wondered as so attractive picture they paint, beautiful song they sing and unique cultural programme they perform,” she said adding that whatever greeting cards she sends to the people on the occasion of different festivals like Eid and Nabobarsha are prepared by the children with disabilities.
She called everyone to extend helping hand to flourish their talents and make their life glorified.
Hasina called the guardians of such children to be mentally strong to try the best for those children, according to state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency.
She requested private organisations and entrepreneurs to appoint the persons with all types of disabilities including autism in their respective organisations to ensure their development and dignity.
Work is underway to identify suitable workplaces for the physically-challenged people to appoint them on a priority basis, the Prime Minister said adding that her government would do everything necessary to improve conditions of the disabled people.
She observed the issue of autism is not anew and its pervasion is huge. The children and persons with autism are an integral part of our family and society and the number of children with autism is increasing.
“Under the law, we have established the Neurodevelopmental Disability Protection Trust to consider the future of the physically-challenged children and Tk 41.50 crore have already been allocated for implementing its programmes,” she said, adding the allocation would be raised further later.
Health Minister Mohammad Nasim and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Social Welfare Ministry Mozammel Hossain were present at the function as the special guests, while State Minister for Social Welfare Nuruzzaman Ahmed presided. Secretary of the Social Welfare Ministry Zillar Rahman delivered the welcome address.