Asset 1

Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

DISABLED DOES NOT MEAN ‘UNABLE TO’

Persons with disabilities (PWDs) are right to complain that they are not given the status and respect of normal human beings. They remain the deprived and ‘uncounted’ population. Additionally, women with disabilities are the most neglected, isolated and stigmatised among PWDs.

It is very difficult to find reliable data about the prevalence of disability in Pakistan. The Pakistan Census Organization (PCO), in its 1998 national population census, estimated a figure of 2.49% of the overall population. The 1998 census covers seven types of disabilities, and recorded their incidence in 286,630 million persons out of a total population of 165,803,560 million. However, according to Association of Physically Handicapped Adults (APHA) statistics and World Health Organization estimates, children and adults with disabilities account for nearly 10% of the global population.

The distribution of different disabilities within the defined population of disabled persons, as indicated by the 1998 census, may provide a useful guide for planning programs. The breakdown of the statistics is as follows: physically handicapped 19%, mentally handicapped and insane 14%, multiple disability 8.21%, visually impaired 8.6%, hearing impaired 7.40% and others (not classified) 43.33%.

It is estimated that 66% of PWDs live in rural areas; only 28% of PWDs are literate; only 14% are employed; and 70% are reliant on family members for financial support. Further, a 1984-85 survey on disability revealed that over 49% of disabilities resulted from disease – more than birth (35%) and accidents (just under 14%) combined (source: Sight Saver Study). Data reveals that 55.7% of PWDs are located in Punjab, followed by 28.4% in Sindh, 11.1% in NWFP, 4.5% in Balochistan, and 0.3% in Islamabad (PCO, 1998).

The number of males with disability is greater than females in both rural and urban areas. This is possibly because of the high incidence of female infanticide caused by social discrimination, preference for the male child, and deep rooted gender insensitivity within households.

No scientific study or survey at the national level has ever been conducted to comprehensively assess the problems of this marginalised segment of society. Existing policies and laws need to be refined and weak enforcement mechanisms strengthened so that PWDs can get benefits. The only law for the welfare of PWDs was passed in 1981, which does not contain an effective mechanism for the employment and rehabilitation of PWDs due to a number of lacunae in the ordinance.

There is need of inclusive policy-making which cover all issues relating to disability. A disability can be converted into ability if the government provides technologies and access to resources on the basis of human rights. This deprived segment of Pakistan’s population must be recognised and enabled to earn its place in society.

THE WRITER IS A CONSULTANT AT THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT POLICY INSTITUTE ISLAMABAD

This article was originally published at: The Express Tribune

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.