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Monday July 22, 2024

CM urged to establish DWRUs in remaining 16 districts of Punjab

By Myra Imran
July 11, 2024
This representational image shows a member of the district welfare and rehabilitation unit registration for persons with disabilities in district Gujrat on July 1, 2024. — Facebook/Parcham Welfare Foundation Pakistan
This representational image shows a member of the district welfare and rehabilitation unit registration for persons with disabilities in district Gujrat on July 1, 2024. — Facebook/Parcham Welfare Foundation Pakistan

Islamabad:The Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) has expressed concern over the delays in the establishment of District Welfare and Rehabilitation Units (DWRUs) across Punjab, as mandated by the Punjab Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2022.

DWRUs are essential for providing comprehensive support to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), including data collection, training, employment opportunities, awareness campaigns, and referral services for medical treatment and financial support.

These units also address grievances related to accessibility and discrimination, collaborating with social welfare organizations, government departments, and NGOs to ensure an inclusive approach to disability services. A statement issued by CPDI on Wednesday says that despite the legal framework being in place, the implementation of the Act has faced significant delays.

CPDI utilized the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013 to obtain relevant information from government departments to expedite the establishment of DWRUs. According to information obtained through RTI requests sent on April 17, 2024, CPDI confirmed that out of the 36 districts in Punjab, 20 districts have successfully established DWRUs.

These districts include Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Chakwal, Attock, Bahawalpur, Sahiwal, Okara, Faisalabad, Chiniot, Toba Tek Singh, Gujranwala, Narowal, Sialkot, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, and Khushab. This proactive approach reflects the commitment of the Deputy Commissioners in these districts to uphold their responsibilities and ensure the establishment of these crucial units. However, several districts, including Jhang, DG Khan, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Lahore, Kasur, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura, Multan, Lodhran, Vehari, Khanewal, Sargodha, Mianwali, and Bhakkar, have yet to establish DWRUs.

CPDI calls on the Deputy Commissioners of these districts to take immediate action to comply with the Act. Mukhtar Ahmad Ali, Executive Director of CPDI, stated, “The establishment of DWRUs is a critical step towards creating an inclusive and supportive environment for Persons with Disabilities in Punjab. We urge the Deputy Commissioners of the remaining districts to expedite the establishment of these units and ensure they are active and effective in their roles.”