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Counting persons with disabilities was not properly addressed in the population census

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 22nd June, 2022 08:13:03 PM
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Counting persons with disabilities was not properly addressed in the population census

There are no reliable statistics on persons with disabilities in Bangladesh. There is also inconsistency between the information obtained from different sources. In this situation, the census and household census 2022 was a great opportunity to know the exact number of persons with disabilities.

Organisations with disabilities hoped that the census would end the confusion over the number of people with disabilities. But due to the negligence of the data collectors across the country, the actual number of persons with disabilities will not come up through this census.

The information was given at a press conference organised by the Access to Bangladesh Foundation and six disability organisations at the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity on Wednesday. 

Based on data from 145 people with disabilities at the grassroots level across the country, they said the census data was not properly collected. In this situation, they demanded an increase in the inclusion of disability information to bring out the real picture of the disabled in the census.

Albert Mollah, Executive Director of Access Bangladesh Foundation, said, “We have been working with the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Planning for the last two and a half years to organise various meetings and workshops, provide recommendations and provide technical support.”

“We were very happy when the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics informed us in writing on September 26 that there will be sessions on disability training for census master trainers.”

He said “They also consider our recommendations in training modules. But these did not work because the data collectors did not take the information properly.”

Ashrafun Nahar Misti, Executive Director of WDDF presents the observations received from the field.

Based on data from 145 persons with disabilities across the country, she said that most of the data collectors in this year's census and household census did not ask questions about disability. They did not question whether there were any disabled people in the house. They did not even ask people with visible disabilities any questions about disability. Some data collectors have left without completing the complete questionnaire with answers to some basic questions (name, age, educational qualification, marital status, occupation, address).

Speakers of the press conference urge strongly to the government to count persons with disabilities those who left uncounted in the census by keeping the digital system active and issuing necessary office orders.