Women term Kafalat project as doorway to economic uplift

By Minahil Makhdoom

ISLAMABAD: Women from across the country have welcomed the launching of Kafaalat programme under Ehsaas initiative of the present government terming it a doorway to economic empowerment of the women living below the poverty line.
The initiative launched on Friday by Prime Minister, Imran Khan on Friday will not only provide cash assistance to deserving women but also interest free loan and other facilities, enabling them to improve their economic situation.
Kalsoom Bibi, a beneficiary of the programme said this initiative is a beacon of hope for the low income women and a step toward their financial independence. It will enable the women of the country to bear their daily expenses and run a small business through acquiring loan to become self-sufficient. She said provision of Rs, 2000 monthly is a good start but the government should focus on entrepreneurship of women to reduce their dependency on such stipend through making them fully empowered.
Another woman who wants to apply for the programme, Balqees said the dream of women empowerment can only be realized through ensuring their role in socio-economic development through providing them adequate skills and resources to run their own business.
She was of the view that small business and entrepreneurship culture among women will contribute a lot in eliminating poverty and creating job opportunities for them. Shaista Amin, a widow and mother of three children said, “Majority of the people are criticizing this initiative by terming it a step toward making people beggars as they cannot imagine the plight of those who are living in extreme poverty and even cannot afford meal thrice a day.
everywhere in the world, the state provides monetary benefits to the poor citizens until they become self-sufficient, she said. This amount meant a lot for the poorest section of society who don’t have any means to support their families, she added.
‘Transparency in such programmes and depoliticization are the keys towards successful implementation and outcomes,†another widow living in a shelter home of Islamabad said. Hoping to get register soon with this programme, she said this programme will transform the lives of poor women like me in real sense as this is not only providing cash assistance but other facilities to change our lives, she viewed.
It is pertinent to mention here that Kafalat programme will enrol around seven million families within the year 2020 to provide them Rs.2000 monthly stipend , interest free loans for small businesses and other facilities to make them self-sufficient. The women beneficiaries will have their personal saving accounts and ATM cards through which they will be able to draw money.