Economic productivity of a country could be enhanced manifold by empowering the penniless women folk and Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) was doing exactly the same to help becoming resource less women self sustaining as promised in the manifesto of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). According to the World Bank’s 2012 World Development Report: Gender Equality and Development, closing these gender gaps matters for development and policy making. PBM was running 156 Women Empowerment Centres (WECs) to impart vocational training among deserving women. PBM has spent Rs 638 million on imparting technical training among 30,000 women in 2019-20. The women trainees were being paid Rs 30 daily allowance on attendance basis. The trainees having workable business plan of Rs 25,000 to Rs 100,000 would be provided personal loans in collaboration with Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund. The loan will be returnable in the time span of 18 months first six months as grace period. As many as 13,322 trainees are currently getting training from these schools whereas some 135,220 trainees have been passed out. WECs plans to impart technical training among 62400 deserving women in the next four years. Currently, the WECs are imparting 16 different trades including drafting, cutting, sewing, designing, interior decoration, beautician, cooking, tie and dye, glass painting, computer and current Microsoft office applications to deserving women. A total of 33 senior citizens were residing in Great Home for Senior Citizens in Lahore. PBM has established Child Support Program (CSP) in five districts. A total of 28,462 children were benefitting from the CSP program. The objectives of establishing these schools was to wean away children from the hazardous child labour environment, impart primary education and bring poor children into mainstream of social milieu. The enrolled children were being provided Rs 10 as daily stipend while parents receive Rs 300 per month as subsistence allowance. It is PBM initiative to pull out the children from bonded labor and imparting them education, in line with the UN & other International Organizations conventions. 159 SRCL,s are functional all over the country. The children involved in child labor are enrolled in these schools are imparted free education upto primary level. They are provided free books, stationery, uniform / shoes and Rs.10/- daily stipend / parents subsistence allowance of Rs.300/- per month and Rs.4100/ year as passed out incentive. Out of 159 SRCL, 46 are in Punjab, 20 are in South Punjab, 37 are in Sindh, 24 are in KPK, 14 are in Baluchistan, 13 are in ICT/AJK and 5 are in G.B. 18519 children were enrolled in these schools in F.Y.19-20. Till now 38059 students have been passed out. 712 millions were utilized during F.Y.19-20. A total of 5,683 scholarships and 18,519 education stipends had been given to deserving students during financial year 2019-20. Some 21,618 deserving persons had been provided medical assistance in last fiscal year. Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal is offering scholarships to deserving students admitted in any Government College or University. PBM has planned to establish Great Homes for senior citizens in many cities. Great Homes will provide basic necessities of life in a dignified manner and in a family like environment including boarding, lodging, food, clothing, medical case and recreation. PBM also providing grant in aid to registered non government organisation (NGOs). PBM has established Facilitation Centres at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and Nuclear Medicine, Oncology and Radiotherapy Institute (NORI) to promptly complete medical assistance case of the deserving. Some other Facilitation Centres would soon be established at provincial headquarters and at divisional levels to facilitate the beneficiaries.In the third phase, the facilitation centres will be established at district level. The Facilitation Centres have already been working at PBM head office and it regional offices to provide speedy, hassle free medical services to the beneficiaries visiting the office and stream lining the process of providing medical assistance. PBM was contributing in poverty reduction through various Individual Financial Assistance (IFA) programmes including general financial assistance, education stipend, individual rehabilitation programmes, etc. Likewise, PBM is planning to establish 15 more Women Empowerment Centres (WECs) by June 2021.
Syed Zahid Majeed