Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said support and service centres would be set up in every upazila across the country for the differently-abled persons.
“Now, there are 103 support and service centres -- 64 at district and 39 at upazila levels -- for the persons with disabilities in the country. There is also an autism corner in each centre. We will set up such centres in every upazila,” she said.
The PM was addressing a function marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2019 and 21st National Day of Persons with Disabilities in the capital’s Mirpur.
This year, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is being observed on the theme “The Future is Accessible”.
Hasina stressed the need for introduction of special training in the country to make the differently-abled persons self-dependent. She said her government has been working to ensure their rights.
The premier said the government would make arrangements for providing training, sport facilities, and jobs to the differently-abled persons in every upazila.
She directed the social welfare ministry to take up a project in this regard.
Hasina said soon after the country’s independence in 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had provided the social welfare ministry with huge land across the country, where more institutions could be set up.
She differed on a demand to turn Jatiya Protibondhi Unnayan Foundation into a directorate, saying that if it remained as a foundation, it would get donations even from private organisations.
“If the foundation is turned into a directorate, the government officers will be benefited as there will be some posts for them. But I can’t say what benefits it would bring to the persons with disabilities.”
Talking about autism, the PM said her daughter Saima Wazed Hossain, chairperson of Bangladesh National Advisory Committee for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, was able to create awareness about neurodevelopmental disorders and autism at home and abroad through her hard work.
Noting that there was no such awareness in the country, she said the government was trying to make people aware that autism or disability was neither a sickness nor a disease.
The premier distributed awards among successful persons with disabilities, parents, caregivers, social activists and organisations for their contributions to the society.
Presided over by Social Welfare Minister Nuruzzaman Ahmed, the function was also addressed by State Minister for Social Welfare Sharif Ahmed, President of Jatiya Protibondi Forum Sayedul Haque and visually impaired Ferdousi Akter.
Hasina also inaugurated the newly-constructed Jatiya Protibondhi Complex, “Subarno Bhaban”, on the premises of National Foundation for Development of the Disabled Persons.