Supporting Youth and promoting Higher Education is one of the top priorities of the current democratic government of Pakistan. It has a broad canvas of schemes aimed at enabling youth to get access to higher education, internships, trainings and then getting relevant jobs or entrepreneurship career path.
In this connection, one of the great initiatives of the Government is the scheme for distributing Motorized/Electric Wheelchairs to disabled students studying in Public Sector Universities of Pakistan with the objective to facilitate them in their movements in order to complete their higher education, and enable them to contribute effectively towards the progress of the country.
This scheme is aligned with the United Nation's Standard Development Goals (SDGs) projecting, 'By 2030 eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable persons with disabilities, indigenous people and children in vulnerable situations'. Pakistan has signed a treaty on September 15, 2008 in the United Nations Convention on "Rights of Persons with Disabilities", and ratified on July 5, 2011. As per data of Census 1998, there were 622,025 disabled (crippled) persons in Pakistan. Out of these 21,925 were enrolled in different public and private sector schools, colleges and universities in Pakistan.
The main objective of the scheme is to facilitate special students having ambulatory disability, so that they can be assisted in their movements and contribute effectively towards the progress of the country.
Inclusive Development Leaving No One Behind
Ambulatory disabilities are those that have an impact on one's ambulation. This includes people who limp, who experience pain when walking, who cannot walk unaided, who use wheelchairs-canes-walkers and whose walk is impaired because of a physical difference.
Ambulatory disability means a disability because of which a person:
- Has a physical and permanent disability to such a degree that the person is unable to move from place to place without the aid of a wheelchair;
- Is not able to cross curbs because of paralysis or loss of function of the person's legs;
- Is missing one or both legs; or
- Has a permanently impaired or unsteady gait that makes it impossible or impractical to walk as a means of transportation.
- The execution and operational phases would be looked after by HEC, via ensuring that the distribution is being made transparently and on merit to those students, who fulfill the eligibility criteria for the program.
- Based on the criteria, the list of students declared eligible to receive the wheel chair would be shared with the respective universities. The student would also be informed via email and a letter addressed at his residential address to collect the wheel chair through the University's relevant department. The Universities via HEC Regional Centers would be responsible to deliver the wheel chair to the concerned student and forward a receiving to the HEC in this regard.
- The details of the vendor would be shared with the student, so that any repair or service during the warranty period may be made immediately and free of cost.