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Special people, kin of martyrs demand pending stipend

Special people, kin of martyrs demand pending stipend

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Jun 25, 2020 - 21:35

MAIMANA (Pajhwok): Proving disabilities and checking womeninfo-icon’s body by male officers in southeastern Faryab province draw strong criticism while a number of people with disabilities and families of martyrs complain they are unpaid for years due to interference of strongmen.

Martyrs and Disabled Department officials in Faryab confirm strongmen’s interference in distribution of stipends to disabled persons and heirs of martyrs.

He said more than 850 million afghanis allocated for the special people was transferred to banks in 33 provinces in the start of fiscal year, but the relevant ministry ordered them not to give the money to handicapped people without verifying their documents.

This comes as hundreds of people with disabilities, family members of martyrs and children daily stage protest outside the Martyrs and Disabled Department, demanding their stipends. However, the protestors did not observe hygiene and doctors’ advises about keeping distance to prevent coronavirus spread.

A number of people with disabilities and family members of martyrs criticized members of Documents Review Committee of the department, saying men should not check women’s body when female doctors were available.

Sakhi Mohammad, a handicapped person from Sherin Tagab district of Faryab, told Pajhwok afghan News that he lost four brothers fighting in defense of the country and he also lost both of his eyes in war, but he did not receive his stipend from the relevant department in the last four months despite having no any other income source.

He said in past years, person entitled for 30,000 afghanis were now given only 15,000 and a person with the benefit of 10,000 afghanis received only 5,000 afghanis.

Mohammad said he know a lot of people who built sky high buildings using the money of people with disabilities and families of martyrs. “These people do not want to review the documents of entitled people, they hide it (for their personal benefits).”

A heir of a martyred soldier was shouted loud and said, “Half of people gathered here are middlemen, they take 5,000 Afghanis from 15,000 Afghanis benefit and 10,000 Afghanis from 30,000 Afghanis, I was also obligated to give them money and then I received my benefit very earlier.”

He said he knew a person who forcibly took the stipends of his soldiers killed in war  because the relevant department would not give that on time.

Ghulam Mohammad, a resident of Lolash area of Kohistan district, said that he was a soldier and he lost both his hands during the conflict. He said his disability documents were missing since last three months and now he had found the documents but he did not know who withdrew his money during that time.

He said he had been visiting the Martyrs and Disabled Department for months and officers there delayed his problem from one to another day and make different excuses.

Another person with disability was angrily hitting his artificial foot on the ground and said, “Is my foot not a document, three girls from my family are also disabled and we are traveling every day from Almar district to Maimana city in order to take our benefits, but no one hear our voice.”

A number of other people with disabilities and heirs of martyrs had similar complaints.

Haji Jannat Gul, head of provincial Council of People with Disabilities, said that the benefits of all 25,000 entitled people in the province were not distributed since the last four months and 9,000 others did not receive their benefits from 2019, 2018, 2016, 2017 and 2016.

The reason people did not get their salaries was interference from some strongmen and no budget allocation from the Ministry of Finance, he said, adding that some strongmen threatened Martyrs and Disabled Department to distribute benefits of their people, an issue that deprives others from getting their benefits.

Babar Baghban, acting head of Martyrs and Disabled Department said that interference of strongmen in their affairs was the reason people with disabilities and heirs of martyrs were deprived of their rights.

He said that Documents Review Committee was created following an order from the president, for identifying real entitled people for receiving the benefits.

He said that the committee reviewed documents of 300 people on a daily basis and their grants would be distributed soon.

Baghban confirmed that there was no woman to check women’s disability and the task was performed by men.

Mds/ma

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