Alvi urges banks to employ differently abled persons
President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday urged the banking sector and state institutions to make collective efforts for employing and facilitating differently abled people to make Pakistani society more inclusive, besides making disabled persons active and productive citizens.
Alvi suggested that the banking sector devise an annual reward mechanism to encourage the banks that are performing well in the areas of women empowerment and financial inclusion of persons with disabilities.
He was addressing a follow-up meeting on women empowerment and the welfare of disabled persons with representatives of different banks, the State Bank of Pakistan, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Federal Investigation Agency among others at the Sindh Governor House.
The president said businesses should not solely focus on enhancing their profitability but they should also dispense their responsibilities towards society to help its marginalised segments, especially persons with disabilities.
The banking industry should develop win-win partnerships with NGOs or other private organisations to promote inclusiveness and development in society through their corporate social responsibility programmes, he added. He also called for hiring focal persons on sign language at each bank to provide assistance to those with impaired hearing.
He said that all government and private organisations, chambers of commerce & industry, banks and the civil society will have to play a key role in ensuring the acceptability and employability of differently abled persons.
He appreciated the role of banks in improving the indicators of women empowerment and addressing issues of disabled persons. He advised all stakeholders to come up with a calculated and time-bound approach to address issues and challenges relating to women empowerment and financial inclusion of differently abled persons.
Alvi appreciated the role of the PTA in creating mass awareness regarding persons with disabilities. He said that around 24 per cent of the population in Pakistan suffers from some form of mental stress, adding that the PTA will also be asked to create mass awareness about issues related to mental health through mobile service messages.
First Lady Begum Samina Alvi on the occasion urged that promoting self-reliance and employment of differently abled persons should go hand in hand with charity.
Training can also be provided to disabled persons to make them skilled and self-reliant in society, she added. She also stressed the need to improve the accessibility of differently abled persons to especially shopping centres, banks, restaurants, educational institutions and hospitals.