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Special students still not issued Khidmat cards

Special students still not issued Khidmat cards

TAXILA: Though the Punjab government has introduced the Khidmat Card Programme for the financial assistance of special persons and the poor, students of Government Special Education Centre Taxila have been waiting for their cards for about six months.

There are 160 students at the institution with disabilities and most of them belong to less privileged class of society. The institution is run by the Punjab government.

The students have disability cards and are registered as special persons with the department concerned. However, so far the authorities have ignored the children in the distribution of Khidmat cards.

“My son is deaf and dumb and has been registered with the social welfare department as a special person. But despite the lapse of six months, he has not been issued the card,” said Safia Begum.

She wondered why the authorities were issuing the cards to other people ignoring the children studying in the institution run under the provincial department.

Intizar Shah, a labourer and father of 6th grade student, added that his son was mentally disturbed and had not been issued the card. He said if such a card is issued to his son, it would help in lessening the educational burden on the family.

Saira Bano, a student, said they usually heard of such schemes announced by the government but the fruits of such initiatives never reached the grass-roots level due to red tape.

When contacted, the principal of the institution, Rehana Perveen, confirmed that the data of the 160 special students had been sent to the social welfare department Rawalpindi and head office Lahore for the issuance of the cards. She said the medical assessment of the students was also carried out by a board.

Senior District Officer Social Welfare Rawalpindi, Mohammad Aslam Maitla, told Dawn that only those special persons who were the beneficiaries of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) were being issued the Khidmat cards. About the special children, he said such students in Rawalpindi district would be issued cards in the second phase after the allocation of necessary budget by the provincial government.

Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2016

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