Disadvantaged persons affected by leprosy, disability need supports: Officials

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Kushtia Correspondent:

Officials of the Social Welfare Department, Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), and local representatives including NGO officials on Friday urged all to stand by disadvantaged people of the society especially persons affected by leprosy.

They made this remark at a meeting of society’s influential persons organized by Mukti Nari-O-Shishu Unnayan Shangstha in Kushtia’s Sadar Upazila under a project titled “Facilitating for Rights, Entitlements and Empowerment (FREE) Project” supported by The Leprosy Mission International – Bangladesh (TLMIB) and funded by The Leprosy Mission Netherlands.

Attending the event as chief guest, Ms. Rukhsana Parvin, Social Welfare Department, Deputy Director, said she will take steps to provide all necessary support to the persons affected by leprosy and persons with disabilities.

She also shared about the different available services of her department and urged all participants to come forward to support these disadvantaged people especially persons affected by leprosy and persons with disabilities from their own position.

Attending the meeting as a special guest, Mr Romesh Chandra Ghosh, Upazila Agriculture Officer, Mirpur Upazila, shared about available services at his department and the process to access the services.

He asked to keep regular communication and committed to providing all possible support to the target people especially persons affected by leprosy and persons with disabilities who are eligible in receiving the services from his department.

Ms. Merina Akter Mina, Women Vica-Charman of Kumarkhali Upazila is a member of the influential persons group. She shared with all the services available at her Upazila that she can support persons affected by leprosy, persons with disabilities and other disadvantaged people in accessing.

A total of 16 members of the influential persons group were present in the meeting and got the opportunity to become familiarized with services available from social welfare department, agriculture department, and local government. The influential persons are renowned and important figures in their local communities and Kushtia e.g. President of Chamber of Commerce, Lawyer, Doctor, Businessman, Ward Counselor, Upazila Vice-Chairman, Union Parishad Chairman, Political Leader, High School Principal and NGO representative.

The meeting ended with the closing speech delivered by the Founder and Executive Director of Mukti Nari-O-Shishu Unnayan Shangstha Ms. Mumtaz Ara Begum.

She expressed her gratitude to everyone especially chief and special guest for attending the meeting and making it fruitful in this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Ms. Mumtaz Ara Begum said, “Today’s meeting, as well as the group, will be successful if we can support the vulnerable people especially persons affected by leprosy and persons with disability in our communities in accessing their rights and entitlements.”

The Group of Influential Persons was formed on 20 May 2021 by Mukti Nari-O-Shishu Unnayan Shangstha featuring eminent personalities from six Upazilas of Kushtia to support persons affected by leprosy, persons with disabilities and persons from vulnerable communities in accessing government and non-government services.

The group is part of Facilitating for Rights, Entitlements and Empowerment (FREE) project being implemented by Mukti Nari-O-Shishu Unnayan Shangstha in partnership with The Leprosy Mission International-Bangladesh (TLMI-B) and funded by The Leprosy Mission Netherlands.