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Rights organizations demand bigger budget for disabilities

  • Published at 07:09 pm June 19th, 2021
Photo: Bigstock

Demands include an increase in the allowances for people with disabilities

Rights organizations on Saturday formed a human chain in Dhaka in the demand for an increase to the allocation for the employment and social security of people with disabilities in the budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Only 2.07% of the total allocation for social safety net programs and 0.37% of total national budget has been allocated for people with disabilities.

The human chain was arranged in front of the National Press Club and attended by members of several organizations for people with disabilities, said a press release.

Speakers at the human chain said people with disabilities have been completely disregarded in the budget for FY22 announced on June 3.

Organizations for people with disabilities have taken part in several webinars over the past two years and gave specific recommendations to the Ministry of Planning, but none of them were taken into account in the budget, said the statement.

People with disabilities had high hopes that the amount of allowances would be increased in this year's budget, considering the pandemic situation. However, they were disappointed to see that it the allowances had been kept the same.

The signatories of the press release complained that an allowance of Tk750 per month, which is sufficient for half a kilogram of rice every day, cannot be a logical contribution from any government during this crisis period.

Also Read: Experts: Budget allocation for disabilities insufficient

The organizations put forward a seven-point demand regarding the budget for FY22.

The demands include increasing the allowances for persons with disabilities to Tk1,500 according to National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) 2015, and introducing a disability unemployment insurance scheme for all disabled employees in the private sector.

The organizations that took part in the chain include: Alliance of Urban DPOs Chittagong (AUDC), Bangladesh Society for the Change and Advocacy Nexus (B-Scan), Bangladesh Disabled Development Trust (BDDT), Community Based Disability and Child Protection Organization (CBDCPO), Disabled Child Foundation (DCF), Disabled Development and Research center (DDRC), Human Rights Disability and Development Foundation (HDDF), National Council of Disabled Women (NCDW), National Council of Disabled Women (NGDO), Protibondhi Nagorik Shangathaner Parishad (PNSP), Deaf and Sign Language Users SDSL Conference Foundation and Women with disabilities Development foundation (WDDF).

Previously, the government had promised to increase the disability allowance to Tk1,500 by 2020 as per the NSSS 2015.

If the government allocates only Tk600 crore, it is possible to increase the allowance for disabled people from Tk750 to Tk1,000.

People with disabilities are  at risk of falling below the poverty line due to unemployment, lack of employment growth, crisis in the education system and the impact of coronavirus pandemic.

There is no allocation for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act 2013.