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Minister vows to work for women prisoners

ISLAMABAD – Federal Minister for Women Development Zobaida Jalal has said that her ministry was making every possible effort for the release of women prisoners and juveniles languishing in jails due to non-payment of fines.

The minister stated this in Islamabad on October 24, after undertaking a visit to Central Jail Quetta to know about the grievances of women prisoners languishing there.

Ms Jalal said: “We have allocated funds amounting to over Rs6 million as well as sent a summary to the prime minister in this regard.”

She said following her visit to Central Jail Quetta, she would also visit Mutch Jail, Attock Jail and Multan Jail.

The minister said the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Punjab, had been directed to provide a list of prisoners who were languishing in jails owing to non-payment of fine amounts. The Punjab province has the largest number of women prisoners as compared to other provinces, she added.

She said a summary to change the name of ministry from social welfare to ‘Social Development and Protection’ had been forwarded to the prime minister. “As per the new name, we would ensure financial protection and economic stability to the beneficiaries,” she added.

Ms Jalal said: “I would re-define the vision of social welfare and draft a new policy pertaining to provision of financial security to the people even in their old age through social security nets like Baitul Maal and others.”

About the special education programmes, she said her ministry was focussing on a plan under which children with minor disabilities could get education in ordinary school. The ministry would also provide equipment like glasses, wheelchairs, etc., to those children who could get education with the normal children, she added.

Ms Jalal said the World Bank had offered assistance for ‘inclusive educational programme’, and initially a pilot project would be launched in the federal government schools after which it would be implemented throughout the country.

The 51 centres of special education throughout the country would be made the ‘centres of excellence’ so that the handicapped and mentally-retarded children could get education there, she added.

Source: Dawn