CM inaugurates rehab centre for autistic children in Karachi

  • Advocates love, care along with medical treatment

  • Holds caretaker govt responsible for increasing street crimes

  • Gives ‘NOC’ for construction of Basha Dam

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday said that Autism or should not be considered a disease, but only a problem with which the parents and the society have to deal with lovingly and carefully along with making full use medical treatment available for that purpose.

He said this while talking to media just after inaugurating the first ever Centre of Autism Rehabilitation & Training (C-ART) in Gulistan-e-Jauhar area of the metropolis.

On the occasion, Planning and Development (P&D) Chairman Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Secretary Abbas Baloch, health professional Dr Nabila Soomro and others were also present.

The chief minister stated that it is our responsibility to support our children who are differently-abled.

“Today we have established C-ART and we have found some dedicated persons like Dr Nabila Soomro and others to make this institution one of the best in South Asia,” he said, adding that it is the biggest C-Art institution in public sector in South Asia.

He pointed that through different presentations he has found that more people in the administration department are working in C-Art than the trainers or experts. “We have to increase the strength of trainers and teaching staff to make it a professional institution,” he said and added that he is ready to provide funds whatever the C-ART administration needs but “I want to see the actual results and genuine rehabilitation,” he said.

The chief minister urged C-ART administration to establish its satellite centres in others parts of the province. “There is dire need of such rehabilitation and training centres all over Sindh,” he said and gave the example of NICVD and said it has about eight satellite centres in different districts of the province.

Murad Shah said that the C-ART would cater to the needs of the children whose parents could not afford the fee of private institutions.

The chief minister said that he was working hard for the education and training of every segment of the society. “We are also improving our schools working for special children,” he said.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a range of conditions characterised by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and non-verbal communication as well as by unique strengths and differences.

Murad Ali Shah said that there are over 60 million people with autism across the world of which many third world countries in Africa and Asia, including Pakistan, who do not even have access to any public services. “The situation is definitely alarming,” he said and added in a country like Pakistan, where reasonable education remains a dream even for an average person, affording rehabilitation services an autistic child remains something like a big challenge.

The CM said that in the year 2016-17, the government had allocated Rs71.7 million to establish C-ARTS in a three-storey building with 38 room rooms establishing over an area of three acres at Gulistan-e-Jauhar. It is first ever centred in the public sector and the biggest in South Asia. It has the capacity to enrol 300 children in a session and it would cater to the needs of the autism children whose parents cannot afford private institutes’ fees.


Replying to a question, he said that street crime has increased in Karachi and it has invited wide criticism. “Actually, this problem [street crime] increased during the caretaker government and now we are curbing it,” he said and added the IG police are joining and we would formulate a vigorous strategy to eliminate street crime and make the overall restored law and order sustainable,” he vowed.

He said that National Action Plan (NAP) was in progress and the targeted operation launched in the city has produced best results and now “we are going to divert it towards the street criminals, drug mafia and land grabbers,” he said.

To another question, Murad Ali Shah said that the poor people were being given houses under Benazir Bhutto Housing Cell. “This programme was going on from the last many years and a large number of homeless people have been given houses,” he said.

He said that it is a big task to establish institutions but the real challenge is to find dedicated and devoted professionals to run them in the public interest and make them genuine institutions.


The CM said that his government is not against the construction of Bhasha Dam and issues of storage of water must be resolved.

He said that the provincial government has no objection to the construction of Bhasha Dam. There is a need of storage of water but “we have to see how much water is available in our system,” he advised.


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