LAHORE, Oct 12: Visually challenged people blocked on Oct 11 the Metro bus service corridor for more than 10 hours in protest at the non-regularisation of their jobs.
Up to 25 challenged people gathered at Kalma Chowk and blocked the dedicated Metro bus route to get attention of the provincial government for regularisation of their service and quota in jobs.
The blockage remained for more than 10 hours amid sloganeering against the government.
One of the protesters, Tauseef, told Dawn that they had been demanding regularisation of their daily wage jobs for the last two and half years and mostly they were paid salaries after two to three months.
He alleged they had been detained for two days in Nashaiman when they went to government officials for talks.
Another protester said most of the representatives of the Punjab government were lying to them.
“Every time the government officials make promises with them but do not fulfill them,” said the protester while adding they were again compelled to come to roads.
He said the government had prepared a list of 135 visually impaired people to give them job but the list was not implemented. He said they were given Khidmat cards with Rs1,200 in card account which was not enough to run their house.
Model Town SP Hasnain Haider tried to pacify them but the protesters did not budge.
In the evening Deputy Commissioner Sumair Ahmad Syed along with Capital City Police Officer Amin Wains held negotiations with the protesters and persuaded them to open the track.
Rasheed: Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed reached the visually impaired persons’ sit-in in the afternoon to express solidarity with them and demanded that the government accept their demands.
While distributing meals among the protesters who said they had been there without food and water for the second consecutive day, Mr Rasheed said he would raise the visually impaired persons’ issue in the next Punjab Assembly session. The protesters chanted slogans against the government and in favour of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
After the protesters explained ‘injustices’ being committed against them as well as their demands, the opposition leader said he would raise the issue in the PA session beginning on Oct 16 and ensure that their problems be resolved.
The protesters said no government functionary had reached them though they had been voicing their plight for the last two days.
Later, speaking to media persons, Mr Rasheed chided the government for its apathy towards the persons with special needs and demanded that the government accept the visually impaired persons’ demands.
Published by Daily Dawn on Oct 12, 2017