Speakers raise voice for reserved seats for PWDs in parliament



Speakers at a conference on Friday called for reserved seats for persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the Parliament to protect their rights and improve participation in legislation.

These views were expressed at the “First South Asia conference on the role of women with disabilities in implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs)”.

It is the responsibility of the government to provide all basic and necessary facilities to PWDs to help them live a normal life like other citizens, they added.

Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani said that to create sensitivity among the masses there is a need to help reduce problems regarding PWDs and provide all rights to them. He said that the Parliament represents all segments of society, including disabled persons.

He said that when the Parliament would protect the rights of the public, people would give it honour and respect.

Raza Rabbani assured that the Parliament would be accessible for PWDs and would support and protect their rights.

The senate chairman urged for true implementation of job quota of PWDs in all government departments across the country and added that they should be given their due rights so that they can develop and prosper.

Rabbani said that there are a large number PWDs living in rural areas of the country but unfortunately they are either not registered or have no data with any organisation.

Women Parliament Caucus Secretary General MNA Shaista Pervaiz Malik assured that the Parliament House would soon be accessible for PWDs and more legislation would be brought in the House for their betterment.

Parliamentary Task Force on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Chairperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the present government has taken various steps for the welfare and rights of the PWDs across the country.

She said that many projects are ongoing for the facilitation of PWDs adding that 422 educational institutions are accessible for them.

Marriyum said that data about PWDs would be collected in the upcoming national census in March 2016.

STEP President Muhammad Atif Sheikh, who is also the Head of the Aurat Foundation said that government should provide sports facilities and made all buildings accessible for PWDs, including hotels, public and private offices, hospitals and parks.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa MNAs Ayesha Syed, Balochistan’s Aliya Murtaza Kamran, Fouzia from Sindh and Tahseen Fawad from Punjab also addressed the participants and said that the government should provide free interest loans to PWDs for self-employment and increase vocational and training centres across the country.

The government should ensure the safety of PWDs, installation of CCTVs to observe safety at all offices in the public and private sector, and ensure true implementation of the job quota of PWDs, and establish complaint cells for them, they said.