Islamabad, March 16, 2023 (PPI-OT): President Dr Arif Alvi has urged the need for the capacity building and career counselling of persons with different abilities (PWDs), and matching their skills with jobs. He said that 10-14% of Pakistan’s population was suffering from some form of disability, adding that collective measures needed to be taken by the government and the private sector for the financial and social inclusion of PWDs.
The President gave 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 Program (NRSP), Dr Rashid Bajwa, at Aiwan-e-Sadr, today.
CEO of NOWPDP, Mr Omair Ahmad, Executive Director of NAVTTC, Director Islamic Finance Department of the State Bank of Pakistan, Mr Ghulam Muhammad, Additional Finance Secretary, Mr Aamer Mehmood Hussain, and Technical Advisor at WHO, Dr Maryam Mallick, and senior government officials attended the meeting.
The President said that 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. He added that society required playing its role for the welfare and facilitation of DAPs.
Dr Rashid Bajwa highlighted the steps taken by the National Rural Support Program (NRSP) for the empowerment of DAPs and women and the support being provided by NRSP to farmers and small landholders in rural areas.
He said that NRSP was the largest provider of micro-financial services in Pakistan, and was working in 72 districts for the welfare of underprivileged communities. CEO of NRSP further highlighted the contributions made by NRSP for the welfare and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities (PWDs). He said that NRSP was supporting PWDs by providing those financial services, artificial limbs, and rehabilitation services.
He apprised that NRSP had disbursed Rs 150.5 million to PWDs through loans, besides providing micro health insurance coverage to 3,346 PWDs and artificial limbs to 14,039 PWDs.
Executive Director NAVTTC, Dr Khalid Mehmood, informed the meeting that his organization was going to offer free-of-cost training and skills for DAPs, besides providing them free lodging and pick-and-drop facilities. Director Islamic Finance, State Bank of Pakistan, Mr Ghulam Muhammad, informed that internship programs for DAPs would soon be launched by the banks.
The President appreciated the contributions made by NRSP for the welfare and empowerment of PWDs. He said that NRSP was doing a tremendous job and other institutions should follow its example.
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