Dhaka – The government has been contemplating a plan to introduce allowances for the people with disability to smoothen their living as Bangladesh has a countable number of people living with mental and physical challenges.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday announced that the provision will be incorporated in the next national budget, to be presented in parliament in June this year.
Hasina inaugurated a programme on the occasion of the 12th World Autism Awareness Day at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.
She said 1 million out of 1.4 million disable people are currently receiving allowance of 700 taka per month from the government.
Whatever might be the number, all the disabled people, including mentally and physical challenged, autistic and others, will be brought under the coverage of allowance from the next budget, Hasina said calling the affluent people to stand by the disabled.
She asked the richer people to provide them with necessary assistances, including financial aid and jobs at their organizations, to ensure their meaningful livelihood and flourish their hidden talents.
Stressing the need for changing mindset of the society, she said, “We should not consider disabled people as burden of the society. They have also the right to leading meaningful lives and we the people having sound health should fulfill their rights.”
No more negligence to be shown to them, she said.
Requesting the parents for putting in effort to integrate them into the mainstream society brushing aside shyness about their children’s physical and mental barriers and asked them to spend more times with their children.
The Prime Minister said they have numerous talents which are absent among many people with a sound health condition.
“We’ll have to create scope for them in all walks of lives including family, society, educational institutions and their workplaces to flourish those talents,” she added.
The Ministry of Social Affairs arranged the function with Social Affairs Minister Nuruzzaman Ahmed in the chair. Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque, State Minister for Social Affairs Sharif Ahmed, and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Affairs Rashed Khan Menon also spoke as the special guests.
On behalf of the people with autism, a SSC examinee also addressed the function.
At the function, Hasina handed over awards to five children with autism in recognition of their contribution to different fields and three individuals and three organisations for their role in building awareness about autism.
The day is being observed in the country as elsewhere across the globe with the theme ”Assistive Technology, Active Participation.”
The United Nations General Assembly declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day to highlight the need for enhanced initiatives by all to improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from autism, according to state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangtha news agency.
Putting emphasis on inclusive education for the children with disabilities, the Prime Minister said they should be given scope to pursue study with general students.
Under Integrated Special Education Policy, the disabled students are availing the opportunity to study in 62 specialized schools and around 230 million taka have been allocated for running the schools, she added.