352 electric wheelchairs distributed among the students


Islamabad: A total of 352 electric wheelchairs have been distributed to students with permanent physical and ambulatory disabilities under the Prime Minister’s electric wheelchair program for university students? over the past two years.

According to an official source, some 206 wheelchairs were distributed in phase 1 in 2019-20 and 146 in phase II among deserving students during the year 2020-21. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) planned to distribute the remaining 248 wheelchairs to university students in the public sector with permanent physical and ambulatory disabilities during phase III. The total cost of the project was 131 million rupees. Of which 120 million rupees has been set aside for the purchase of 600 wheelchairs for further distribution among deserving students over a period of three years. Wheelchairs were distributed among students with permanent physical and ambulatory disabilities to such an extent that they were unable to move from place to place without the aid of a wheelchair.

HEC was considering procuring additional wheelchairs to meet increasing demands, if necessary. As part of this program, at least two electric wheelchairs would also be distributed to 424 federal educational institutions to facilitate the reception of students with disabilities and visitors to educational institutions. The program was aligned with the United Nations SDGs which provide for eliminating gender disparities in education and ensuring equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for vulnerable people with disabilities, people with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples and Vulnerable Children ” by 2030. According to 1998 Census data, there were 622,025 disabled (infirm) people in Pakistan. —APP

Of these 21,925 students, they were enrolled in various schools, colleges and universities in the public and private sectors in Pakistan.

The execution and operation phases were handled by HEC, ensuring that the distribution was done transparently and on merit to students who met the program’s eligibility criteria.

Based on the criteria, the list of students declared eligible to receive the wheelchair was shared with the respective universities.

Vendor details would be shared with the student, so that any repair or service during the warranty period could be done immediately and free of charge.

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