Amtoli, a village in Sylhet's Rampasha union, has a high physical disability rate – nearly double that of Bangladesh's entire eastern district of Sylhet.
Sheikh Rehana – the youngest daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – informed her elder sister Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina about this recently. The premier instantly gave Tk16.13 lakh to the 461 differently-abled people of the village.
The aid includes Tk2,500 cash for each person and clothing for the families. Additionally, the prime minister gave a number of directives to ensure the health and future of the differently-abled children.
The instructions are to:
>> Arrange for special allowances after issues of the differently-abled individuals are detected
>> Provide counselling to each household to ensure health, safety and family planning
>> Raise awareness about personal and neighbourhood cleanliness
>> Provide the families with vitamin supplements and safe drinking water
>> Improve the infrastructure of the village – including necessary filling up and introducing a drainage network
>> Set up a school and make required appointments addressing the multidimensional educational need of the children
>> Supply on-demand aid like: wheelchairs, tri-cycles, hearing devices and visual aid equipment
Previously, The Business Standard ran a report titled "A village with 400 disabled people," last February, elaborating on the shockingly high disability rate in the village.
The report elaborates that among the 5,500 villagers, about 400 of them have a disability. Most of them are children and are disabled from birth.
"Among the 500 families who live here, at least one member of 90 percent of the families is differently-abled. This includes people with either, or both, physical and mental disabilities," reads the report.