100 Panahgahs providing ideal place to destitute labourers, says Naseem


By Minahil Makhdoom

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Shelter Homes Naseem ur Rehman on Sunday said around 100 Panahgahs were providing homelike dine and sleep environment to thousands of daily wage earners and shelterless destitute daily in a dignified manner.
He said that more than 70 percent of the total shelter homes were fully operational and providing ideal services to the shelterless people across the country, whereas rest of the facilities were in various stages of service delivery.
In addition to Panahgahs, the focal person said a large number of Langar Khanas (food centers) were serving nutritious and hygienic food to the poor and daily wage earners.
He also mentioned the newly launched ‘Koi-Bhuka-Na-Soye’ programme of Prime Minister Imran Khan, providing cooked meal twice a day to the poor and labourers in different cities. To a query, Naseem said Rs 300 was being spent on each dweller of the Panahgah every day, helping the poor people, especially migrant workers to save Rs 6,000 per month that obviously provided him an opportunity to directly spend the hard earned money on his family welfare.
Citing the example of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad’s ‘Panahgahs’, he said 600 people were getting food and shelter at each shelter home, which manifested Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of transforming the country into Madina-like state where all the citizens irrespective of their caste, religion, race and social status were treated equally.
He said once there was starvation, and helpless people were forced to sleep on pavements and in public parks. “Now I can say, in the long run, this Panagahs project will prove a remarkable initiative to alleviate poverty in an effective manner,†he maintained.
Explaining the policy to ensure sustainability of the programme, Naseem said it was providing an organized and strategic approach to the ‘giving’. It also makes the ‘giving’ a dignified process by keeping in mind respect and dignity of the receiver, he added.
“This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that a programme has come up which is trying to tap into the people’s goodwill as well as the existing resources, and through this process, a major overlapping, wastage and duplications have been reduced,†the prime minister’s focal person noted. Now the country, he said, had a system which could help distribute the donations among the poor in a more organized manner.
Before that initiative, he said occasionally the poor daily wage earners ended up sleeping under open sky as they could not bear expenses to have a proper lodging in
major cities. He said the initiative had been receiving tremendous response as the people from all over the world were providing in-kind donations to the shelter homes programme.