President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Monday, guaranteed to expand treatment facilities and opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
The president delivered the statements at the Riveli 2019 awarding ceremony, a collaborative effort by the Council for Protection of Rights of People with Disabilities and the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services aimed to celebrate achievements of people with special needs as well as organizations that work to promote their rights.
President Solih remarked on the limited availability of medical services and rehabilitation facilities for people with special needs
"We are working to find a swift solution to the problem through the health sector", affirmed President Solih.
Reiterating the government's policy of according safety and care to people with special needs, the president asserted that having a disability was not a reason to socially exclude any individual. As such he stated that a mental health centre and service counters for disabled people were established in the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).
Additionally, the president revealed that the government had decided to pursue the establishment of a community-based rehabilitation system. He revealed that the system would enable those with special needs to access different therapies, training and educational programs from their islands of residence.
During his address, the president also made note of several key policies intended to empower persons with disabilities including the provision of greater access to necessities such as housing, education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
In regard to housing, President Solih noted that preparations are underway to begin assisting families of persons or children with disabilities to attain more affordable housing and livelihood options.
The President also underlined that his administration would facilitate easier access to low-interest SME loans, specifically-aimed employment quotas, and special aid for securing educational opportunities. He added that the state already provided employment opportunities for persons with disabilities at several government institutions and state-owned enterprises.
President Solih further revealed ongoing government efforts to identify individuals who have not registered for government aid. The state currently provides disability benefits to 7,771 individuals from an estimated total of 15,360.
Furthermore, he asserted that the successful implementation of government policies would enable people and children with special needs to lead more satisfying lives.
In addition to the President, Vice President Faisal Naseem, members of parliament and several high ranking government officials attended the Riveli 2019 awarding ceremony.