ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that it was his government’s key concept to serve the poor without undermining their dignity and self-respect, considering it a responsibility, not a favour.
During his visit to the first remodeled Shelter Home (Panagah) in Tarlai area of the federal capital, the prime minister said the civilized nations were recognised not by the luxurious lifestyle of the elite class rather through the living conditions of the poor.
Federal Ministers Asad Umar and Murad Saeed, PM’s Special Assistants Dr Sania Nishtar, Ali Nawaz Awan, Zulfiqar Bukhari and Shahzad Akbar, PM’s Focal Person on Panagah Nasimur Rehman, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal Managing Director Aon Abbas Bappi and senior officers were also present.
The shelter home has been remodeled in a month time on the prime minister’s directive to upgrade all five shelter homes of the capital city as a model facility by uplifting the infrastructure, catering and security system.
The prime minister lauded Dr Sania Nishtar and Aon Abbas Bappi for uplifting the facility and particularly for devising standards for replication in all other shelter homes of Islamabad as well as across the country.
Recalling the idea behind establishment of Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, the prime minister said that the basic concept was to provide cancer treatment to the patients without discriminating between the poor and the rich. The similar was his concept about Naya Pakistan, he added.
Referring to the government’s Sehat Insaf Card initiative, he said that it would provide satisfaction to the poor for having a medical insurance cover for treatment of their family members.
Similarly, he said, the shelter homes would provide a dignified living to the poor, who, otherwise, had to spend their nights at footpaths or in the open while braving the harsh weather conditions.
The prime minister strictly directed that the staff at the shelter homes must treat the beneficiaries with respect taking their work as service, not favour to anyone.
He said that the generous people of Pakistan would happily extend financial support to the project when they would see the poor people being treated in a respectable and dignified manner across the country.
The premier, who also toured various sections of the shelter home, also joined the beneficiaries over dinner. He also interacted with the people and assured them of the government’s all-out efforts to control inflation and create job opportunities.
Earlier, Dr Sania Nishtar, while briefing the prime minister about the facility, said it was the first remodeled shelter home in pursuance of his directive of August 9, 2020.
She said that the remodeled Panagah would provide even better facilities than the one-star hotels, including bed, meal and bathroom with hot water. The facility had the capacity to feed around 400 people at a time. A 24-hour surveillance system had been established, besides developing a website where a live data of beneficiaries would be uploaded.
The building was equipped with CCTV cameras, power backup, mosque and laundry, he added.
She said that currently, the facility was being funded by the government but the donations were also being arranged for what an exclusive bank account would be opened for every shelter home.
She also said that like Ehsaas Programme, a third-party audit of the shelter homes would be carried out to ensure transparency. She added that the standards set for the shelter homes would be implemented across all five facilities in the federal capital by end of November.
Dr Sania said that currently the shelter homes were operating in rented buildings, however, the government would later relocate the same to the planned purpose-built buildings.
Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Panagah Nasimur Rehman said that the successful operation of the shelter homes had put many notions to rest proving that it was not mere a political slogan.
Currently, around 150 shelter homes were running across the country, which would be equipped with modern facilities, he added.
PBM MD Aon Abbas Bappi apprised the prime minister about the standards set for the shelter homes and arrangements made by the PBM for opening of the remodeled shelter home.
He said that the remodeling of the shelter home was a challenging task but it was made possible consequent to the generous support by SAPM Zulfiqar Bukhari and others.