Social Welfare is concerned with the well-being and uplift of the community at large and the vulnerable groups in particular and is the prime responsibility of every state and government. Since the welfare of masses is essential for the national development therefore, no nation or state can ever progress without the well-being of its people. In every society, welfare services are provided to help with people’s living conditions and financial problems. Similarly, for the social welfare of demographically vulnerable individuals living in acute poverty, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif recently launched Punjab Khidmat Card Programme for providing interest free loans, free technical training, rehabilitation and welfare and financial assistance to disabled persons in the province. The programme is the first and unique of its kind in the history of the country as in its first phase, it aims to support over 200,000 lowest-income disabled people in the province through a financial assistance of Rs.3600 on quarterly basis.

I believe that Shahbaz Sharif acknowledges that people with disabilities have abilities too therefore, he is endeavoring to make sure that such abilities blossom and shine so that all the dreams of disabled persons may also come true. Hence, in accordance with the vision of Shahbaz Sharif, Khidmat Card programme not only aims at giving financial support to the poor disabled people in the province but also to equip them with diverse livelihood opportunities including technical training, micro-finance and paid internships.

This initiative by the Punjab Government to reach out to the most vulnerable and marginalized people in the province and help them alleviate their difficult socio-economic circumstances is a welcome step as it will make the disabled people active and useful member of the society.

SYED ALI QASIM,

Lahore, January 9.