LAHORE The City District Government has miserably failed in timely issuing disability certificates to thousands of applicants, thus depriving the disabled from applying for quota seats in government departments and from getting special allowances and free transport facilities, officials told TheNation on Friday. The CDGs social welfare department has not issued certificates to those who had applied and got themselves examined from medical boards over six months back, causing the applicants to go from one office to the other to get their rights but all in vain. The officials, however, held the medical boards responsible for the inordinate delay, saying the CDG could issue certificates only after receiving report from the medical experts and they (medics) were paying no heed despite several reminders. Although the disabled have status of special persons across the world and are being treated accordingly but in Pakistan they are the most deprived segment of the society, insiders commented. They further informed that hundreds of disabled persons visited the department daily to get their certificates which were must for claiming facilities including free public transport, jobs from quota fixed in government departments, zakat, compensation allowance from baitulmal, and Benazir Income Support Programme. The insiders said their applications were being deferred without any solid reason, which caused massive nuisance for the disabled as most of them were already unable to move frequently due to their disabilities. The department was taking four to six months in issuance of each medical certificate which was very painful to the disabled, they further said. They maintained the delay was creating serious problems for those having no other source of income except the funds of baitulmal and those who wanted to apply for government jobs. Without the disability certificates these special persons could not submit their application forms within given dates, they added. The insiders further informed following the government policy the department conducted a survey for compiling data of the disabled so that they could be rehabilitated on priority basis but all in vain because the department could complete survey of only 15 to 20 union councils in the city in six months and even failed to issue certificates to the disabled persons so far. Talking to this scribe, Social Welfare Department District Officer Naeem Bhatti said the main hurdle in issuing the disability certificates was delay on the part of medical boards. He said the department was issuing certificates within 20 days only and it had issued hundred certificates to the special persons during the last three or four months. He said there were different kinds of disabilities for which they required specialists in order to get authentic medical reports. He said the department had so far collected data of about 6,000 disabled persons during the survey of 60 UCs of the city while the other UCs would be covered as soon as possible. The department could start rehabilitation process of the disabled after receiving their medical reports and approval of Baitulmal. He said for completion of the entire process only two or three weeks were required but due to official engagements of the doctors and the members of boards it could not be completed. However, the department is holding 12 meetings of the medical boards in Mian Munshi Hospital and Services Hospital on every Thursday, once in a week as compared to the medical boards of other districts, which are holding only one meeting of its medical board in a week.