Double allocation for persons with disabilities in budget | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 24, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 24, 2009

Double allocation for persons with disabilities in budget

Speakers tell discussion

Khandaker Zahurul Alam speaks at a discussion at the National Press Club in the city yesterday. On his left is Farida Yasmin and on his right are Monsur Ahmed Choudhuri and Rabeya Sultana.Photo: STAR

Faisal Rahman, a physically challenged schoolteacher and social worker, came from Jhalakathi to attend a discussion at the National Press Club in Dhaka to talk on budget allocation for the people with disabilities.
But upon his arrival at the press club, he found it difficult to reach the auditorium on the first floor of the club, as he could not use his wheelchair, his constant companion, to climb up the stairs.
"My assistant then carried me and the wheelchair up the stairs as there is no ramp at the National Press Club. Without an assistant, I find it difficult to move anywhere, as most roads and buildings are inaccessible for me," he said.
"For this assistant, I have to pay Tk 5,000 every month, which is quite a luxury for a schoolteacher like me," he added.
At the discussion, Faisal and other speakers demanded that the government double the allocation for the people with disabilities in the upcoming budget for 2009-10 fiscal year.
In the budget for 2008-09, the government allocated around Tk 101 crore to ensure their rights, said the speakers.
National Forum of Organisations Working with the Disabled (NFOWD) and Actionaid Bangladesh organised the discussion on 'National Budget Allocation (2009-10) for the Development of the People with Disabilities'.
Highlighting the social discrimination against the people with disabilities, the speakers called for increased allocation for this group from the national level to union level.
They demanded an allocation of Tk 6 crore for collecting complete data on the people with disabilities, Tk 10 crore for the 'Special Education Demand Development Project', Tk 6 crore for awareness programme among the health professionals, Tk 18 crore for disability prevention centre project, Tk 10 crore for special teachers, Tk 9 crore for stipend programme for students with disabilities, Tk 37.5 crore in allowance for the poor disabled group, Tk 10 crore for the rehabilitation of the acid-burnt victims and physically challenged people, Tk 1 crore for national level sports competition and Tk 80 lakh for cultural activities.
It is not possible for the government to build a digital Bangladesh keeping the people with disabilities, who account for 10 percent of the total population, on the sidelines, said Bhaskar Bhattacharya, programme officer of Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), who is also a visually impaired person.
Rabeya Sultana of Actionaid, Secretary General of NFOWD Zowaherul Islam Mamun, and Managing Director of Jatiya Protibondhi Unnayan Foundation Monsur Ahmed Choudhuri also spoke at the discussion presided over by NFOWD President Khandaker Zahurul Alam.

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