Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday announced that the government would arrange allowances for all differently abled persons from the next budget.
She was speaking at the inauguration of 12th World Autism Awareness Day at Bangabandhu International Conference Center.
Currently, 10 lakh people with disabilities are getting allowance of Tk 700 per month from the government, she said, adding that according to the latest census, there are 14 lakh such persons in the country. All of them will be brought under the coverage from the next budget, she affirmed.
She called upon all to stand beside the differently abled and provide them with necessary assistance. She requested parents to put extra effort in this regard.
The PM handed over awards to five autistic children in recognition of their contribution to different fields and three individuals and organisations for their role in building awareness on autism.
She also joined a photo session with the award recipients, and also lit blue light as part of “Light it Up Blue” campaign. The day is being observed with the theme --“Assistive Technology, Active Participation.”
At yesterday's event, the PM said under Integrated Special Education Policy, students with disabilities are studying in 62 specialised schools and around Tk 23 crore have been allocated for running those.
Hasina said with her daughter, Saima Wazed Hossain, taking the lead, awareness on autism has increased nationally and internationally. Her government has established Suchona Foundation with Saima Wazed as chairperson. “Our goal is to create awareness among all,” she said.
The government has established Institute of Pediatric Neuro Disorder and Autism at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University for diagnosis of newborns.
She said her government has built a 50-seat nursing centre in Brahmanbaria for girls and another one in Bogura for boys. Such shelters will be established in all divisions and districts in phases.
The government has been giving Tk 700-1,200 in monthly education stipend among 90,000 students with disabilities, she informed.
She said “Persons with Disability Rights and Protection Trust Act, 2013” and “Neuro Developmental Disability Protection Act, 2013” were passed in parliament.
Also, they have completed a 15-Floor Complex for people with disabilities at Mirpur at a cost of Tk 80 crore. A DPP formulation is underway for establishing a sports complex for the disabled on a 12.01-acre land near Savar, which will cost about Tk 466 crore, she added.
An “Autism Resource Centre” has started functioning at Jatiyo Protibondhi Unnayan Foundation in Mirpur to provide free services to autistic children and others, she mentioned.
The prime minister also enjoyed a cultural show preformed by people with autism.
Ministry of Social Affairs arranged the event with Social Affairs Minister Nuruzzaman Ahmed. Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque, State Minister for Social Affairs Ministry Sharif Ahmed, and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Affairs Rashed Khan Menon spoke as special guests. Social Affairs Secretary Jewena Aziz delivered the welcome address. An SSC examinee with autism also addressed the event.