MULTAN-The annoyed workers of PPP launched on Saturday Asif Ali Zardari Reconciliation Force and announced bring all unhappy the party workers to gather at one platform.

Addressing a news conference here along with other members, the founding chairman of the force Saleemur Rehman Meo declared that the names of core committee and Punjab office bearers would be announced in a day while the provincial convention of the force would be held after Eidul Fitr. He said that angry and neglected workers from all tehsils and districts would be contacted and invited to join the force.

He claimed that a certain group in the party launched a propaganda campaign against Asif Ali Zardari and forced committed workers to quit PPP. He said that the same group did not give membership forms to the workers during membership drive, prevented workers from meeting with Bilawal Bhutto during his Multan visit, did not allow blind citizens to meet with Bilawal Bhutto, halted the reorganization process of PPP and did not announce the names of PSF Human Rights Wing and Kissan Study Circle office bearers, prohibited active workers from entering Bilawal House and barred them from raising questions in presence of Zardari. He demanded party leadership to take notice of their grievances and take action against the group which was involved in forcing committed workers out of party.

Annoyed PPP workers Jam Mazhar Hussain, Makhdoom Mustafa Gillani, Izharul Haq, Ijaz Khan, Ch Arshad, Tariq Askari, Yaseen Noor and others were also present on this occasion.

ANTI-POLIO SWOOP BEGINS

The Health Department kicked off on Saturday polio eradication drive in Multan to vaccinate over 800,000 children across the district.

The Health Department sources said that over 1,500 vaccination mobile teams have been constituted to administer anti-polio drops to children. The teams will go door to door to vaccinate each every child. The Health sources said that the campaign will continue for three consecutive days. Besides mobile teams, the health department also deployed teams at all hospitals and health centres, airport and railway station to vaccinate children in travel.

Meanwhile, the district administration hurled a warning to parents resisting or denying vaccination of their children, saying strict action would be taken against them.

SSP grooms 300 disabled women for leadership

More than 300 disabled women from grass-root level have acquired leadership training on inclusive development through the formation of self-help groups and awareness advocacy programme, which has helped them to become an integral part of Pakistan's social fabric through active community participation.

The programme has been carried out by Society for Special Persons (SSP), founded by Ms Zahida Qureshi, which is actively working for the rights of disabled persons. The Society has partnered with Philip Morris (Pakistan) Limited (PMPKL) for this project. The initiative is one of the several initiatives undertaken by PMPKL to promote women empowerment as part of its sustainability agenda.

The programme has been successfully carried out in the 10 districts of South Punjab including Multan, Muzaffargarh, Layyah, Lodhran, DG Khan, Vehari, Sahiwal, Rajanpur, Khanewal and Bahawalpur.

Speaking on the occasion of launching ceremony of these self-help groups, the chief guest Bilal Ahmed Butt, Commissioner Multan appreciated the initiative and said, "We all need to make a collective effort to promote the wellbeing of special persons as they have full potential to accomplish great milestones for Pakistan globally. The government is committed to supporting these self-help groups at all levels."

Dr Izharul Haq, Director Programme at Punjab Welfare Trust commented, "These women with disabilities should not feel left out to become a marginalised segment of the society. This requires practical policies for enhanced inclusion of women with disabilities in the society."

As part of the project, Society for Special Persons reached out to more than 1,000 households to form self-help groups and cover the gap between women with disabilities and community, and create awareness about their rights. These women were also facilitated for completion of legal documentation, including CNIC, disability certificates, financial aid and travel discount cards.

Ten customized wheelchairs and gifts were also distributed among special persons at the well-organized self-help groups launching ceremony.