Blind teachers urge PM Imran Khan for redressal of grievances

ISLAMABAD, Dec 2 (APP):The blind professors and lecturers in Punjab have urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to get their deprived rights and allowances ensured on this Disabled Persons Day remained ignored in past.

Professor Muhammad Tahir, President Punjab Blind Professors and Lecturers Association (PBPLA), told APP on Monday that disabled teachers were deprived of their special education allowance and other facilities.

The issue had been raised at various forums, including media, while former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif was approached through former-Evacuee Trust Board Property chairman Siddique ul Farooq, but no vain.

Prof Tahir said blind teachers teaching in general education institutions were not given the facilities, which were being availed by their counterparts serving in the special education department.
The blind teachers were neither permitted to mark papers nor were they hired by any private university or any other educational institution despite having experience and skill.

Prof Tahir, who is blind and teaches at Government Post Graduate College Asghar Mall Rawalpindi, said a number of blind teachers and professors were performing their duties in many educational institutions despite odds, but their grievances were not being redressed.

He said the government had announced facilities and allowances for the blind teachers irrespective of their departments, but the same were given to only those who were working in the special education institutions, which was discrimination.

Prof Tahir mentioned that the blind teachers had to prepare their lectures from recorded books by writing the same in Braille, which was more labourious for them but they were denied from their due allowance.

Professor Tahir said he had a meeting with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) leaders, who had committed to raise their issues at the floor of the assembly.

He urged Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to announce the same facilities for blind professors and teachers serving in the general education department, which were being availed by those serving in the special education department on the World Disable Persons Day.

Prof Tahir said State Bank of Pakistan in a notification had directed all the scheduled banks in the country not to adopt discriminating policy in the reserved quota for the disabled people for appointments. But on the contrary, majority of banks avoid to hire a blind person despite qualifying for the posts announced, he added.

He said marking the World Disabled Persons’ Day every year on December 3 was aimed at realizing the humankind of the existence of the persons with physical or mental disability – one of the most vulnerable segments of the society. These persons did not demand sympathy rather they want attention of the society, which ignored them, he added.

Prof Tahir urged the prime minister to allocate special quota for persons with disabilities in Ehsaas programme, Qamyab Jawan Youth loan scheme and Naya Pakistan Housing project as they have equal rights like other citizens.

“The blind teachers in the present scenario of inflation are unable to manage their household expenses due to non-availability of special allowances and face severe difficulty to manage their households. Most of the blind and disabled professors have availed loans from banks to manage their house expenditures,” he added.

“We have high expectation from the prime minister as he has been taking social welfare seriously and hoped that their issues would be seriously addressed,” Prof Tahir said.