PM urged to be more conscious to ensure social welfare
DHAKA, Jan 4, 2015 Nirapad News : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the officials to be more conscious in implementing social welfare activities of the government and make sure that no children remain without food and shelter.
“We don’t want any child to roll on the street without shelter, or any person to live on the footpath. We want to provide everyone with a home and fulfill basic needs,” she told officials of the social welfare ministry, adding that they should be more attentive to this intent.
The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating the National Social Welfare Week-2015 at a function at Osmani Memorial Hall here yesterday.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has initiated massive programmes for welfare of the ultra poor, the disabled, widows and shelterless persons.
These programmes have an immense role in poverty alleviation and in establishing a welfare state, she said urging the officials of the ministry to come up with new ideas and programmes which would bring more benefit for the people.
Social Welfare Minister Syed Mohsin Ali presided over the function while chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Social Welfare Dr Mozammel Hossain was present as special guest.
Secretary of the ministry Nasima Begum and Director General of the Social Welfare Department Saidur Rahman also spoke on the occasion.
Sheikh Hasina said her government taking office in 1996 had unfolded many epoch making social welfare programmes to stand beside the people according to the pre-election pledges.
In 2009, the programmes were expanded and a number of new programmes were formulated for welfare of the children, physically handicapped persons, helpless women and older persons, she said.
“Now we have to formulate programmes which would ensure welfare of the beneficiaries more quickly and positively,” she said adding that the poverty rate should be reduced to 14 percent by next four years.”
The prime minister said the national social welfare day has a significance in implementing the programmes of the social welfare department and it encourages the social workers.
January 3 is being observed as the national social welfare day every year following the announcement of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her office in 1999 during the inauguration of the social welfare building at Agargaon.
Sheikh Hasina said after independence Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had attached importance to social safety net programmes to build a poverty free country.
Bangabandhu had introduced the ‘Poverty Alleviation Programme’ in 1974 to facilitate the poor to get micro credit. The programme later expanded across the country as ‘Rural Social Welfare Programme’.
Sheikh Hasina said the present government has been implementing many social welfare programmes like allowance for elderly people, widows, divorced women, physically handicapped poor people and physically impaired students under the supervision of the social welfare department aimed at poverty alleviation and bringing dynamism in rural economy.
She said at present a total of 27,22,500 people are getting allowances under the programmes introduced by Awami League for elderly persons in 1997-98 and for widows and divorced women in 1998-1999. These allowances helped the beneficiaries dignifying their positions in the family, she said.
The prime minister said the government has kept allocation of Taka 1,306.80 crore for the allowances of the elderly persons in addition to Taka 485.76 crore for widows and divorcees and Taka 240 crore for poor disabled persons.
The government has kept provision of Taka 25.56 crore for the students with physical disability under which a total of 50,000 students would get allowance, she said.
Pointing out the government’s social welfare programmes taken for transgender people, dalit, harijan and nomadic tribes, the prime minister said two programmes were undertaken for their welfare.
Another programme was taken for giving food support to the tea garden workers, she said adding these social welfare programmes are playing a crucial role in poverty reduction and secure social safety of the people.
Sheikh Hasina said whenever the Awami League government came to power also gave importance through enactment of new necessary laws and policies to provide legal protection to the people of disadvantaged groups.
Acts for rehabilitation of the vagabonds and helpless people-2011, Children Act 2013 and act for protection of the disabled persons’ rights-2013 were enacted while “Parents Subsistence Act” was framed to support the parents in their old age. Sheikh Hasina said her government has a plan to expand the activities of the “Government Shishu Paribar’ in all upazilas for physical and mental growth of the poor children and provide them with food, shelter, education, training, sports and recreation.
The government has also plan to construct baby home, daycare centre, poor children training and rehabilitation centre in every district and upazila, she said adding the a database is being prepared to know the actual number of disabled persons, nature of their disability.
Based on the database, she said, the government would give identification card to the disabled persons and take action plan for their welfare.