The disabled in Helmand seek assistance
LASHKARGAH (PAN): People with disabilities in southern Helmand province say they are faced with numerous problems while the government is doing nothing to assist them.
Everyday, a number of disabled people could be seen gathered in front of the governor's office, the ministry of work and social affairs and other governmental offices begging for assistance.
Mohammad Noor, 45, one of them, said he lost his one leg in a clash with Soviet forces in 1980s. The father of 13 children said there was no one to support them and that he had included names of his family members in lists with different government agencies to seek assistance, but to no avail.
Another disabled person, Abdul Samad, 50, accused government officials of distributing relief goods among themselves and to their relatives.
Samad said he lost one leg in a mine blast during the Taliban era and was a cobbler in Laskhargah city.
Another disabled, Buzurg, said they had a set up a community of disables to collect assistances for them. He said he himself needed to no assistance, but their goal was to support other people with disabilities.
Buzurg said the government had failed to facilitate the disabled and only provided 9,000 afghanis in stipends to them per annum.
On behalf of disabled people, he asked the government to give the disabled people membership in district, municipality and provincial councils.
Martyrs, disables, work and social affairs director, Mohammad Nadir Watanwal, said there were about 2,441 disabled people registered with the department.
Watanwal insisted they fulfilled their responsibilities with honestly and were providing salaries and aid to the disabled people on time. Some of the disabled had been distributed plots of land, he added.
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