Budgetary allocation for persons with disabilities, under social safety-net scheme, is very insufficient to address the needs, said experts.
They came up with the comment at a virtual consultation and suggested to raise the allocation to an expected level.
They also raised some specific recommendations for the upcoming national budget 2020-21 that include- providing food ration facilities to the families of the poor with disabilities for next 9 to 12 months, take initiative to identify the actual number of persons with disability etc.
Access Bangladesh Foundation arranged the virtual consultation, titled “Uncertain lives and livelihoods in Corona: the Expectation of Persons with Disabilities on National Budget 2020-21” on Thursday in association with Democratic Budget Movement, Disability Rights Fund and its partner disabled peoples organisations-ABF, DCF, NCDW, Sitakund Federation, Turning Point and WDDF.
Aroma Dutta, MP, member of Standing Committee of Ministry of Social Welfare took part in the consultation as chief guest.
The consultation was moderated by Co-Founder and Executive Director Albert Mollah while Aamanur Rahman delivered his welcome speech and explained the objectives of the Democratic Budget Movement.
Chief Guest Aroma Dutta said in her speech that the recommendations from this discussion will be placed before the parliament.
She addressed the importance of the issues of women with disabilities and also mentioned that NGOs can play an important role to monitor the government’s initiatives taken to respond the COVID-19 crisis.
Regarding present situation of persons with disabilities, Albert Mollah pointed out in his keynote paper that budgetary allocation under social safety-net scheme is very insufficient to address the needs of persons with disabilities.
Profession Dr. Kazi Maruful Islam of Dhaka University said, emphasis should be given on food security, health security and job creation for the persons with disabilities.
Vashkar Bhattacharjee recommended allocating budget for creating Assistive Technology and Information Accessibility fund for persons with disabilities.
Amrita Rejina Rozario said that emphasis should be given on proper utilisation and implementation of the allocated budget for the persons with disabilities.
Julian Francis said allocation should be based on needs of persons with disabilities for example all persons don’t need disability allowance rather they should be given facilities like laptop, smartphone ete.
Khandakar Jahurul Alam said the first priority should be given to identify the accurate number of persons with disabilities.
Jowaherul Mamun said appropriate skill development initiatives should be taken for persons with disabilities.
Technology-based assistive devices should be made available for persons with disabilities, Ashrafun Nahar Misti said.
George Tripura Anamika Pandey and Jahan Ara Begum Hena said the needs of indigenous persons with disabilities should also be considered.
C M Tufail Sami, chairperson of Access Bangladesh Foundation offered vote of thanks while representatives from NGOs, International NGOs, civil society organisations, DPOs from Dhaka and also from Bandarban, Chattogram and Dinajpur journalists, persons with disabilities, also took part in the discussion.