PM Imran visits shelter home in Islamabad, urges management to serve people with dignity

“Nation is not known based on how well it’s rich segment is living, instead it is based on how well the weaker segment is taken care of,” PM Imran says at Model Tarlai Panah Gah.

shelter home

PM Khan on Monday announced to hand over the five shelter homes in Islamabad to Pakistan Baitul-Maal. The decision came during his visit to the model Tarlai shelter home in the federal capital which was revamped upon his orders last month.

According to the order of the PM, the Pakistan Baitul Maal will run the shelter homes. Khan had visited the model Tarlai Shelter Home to examine the revamped facilities and infrastructure brought after his directives issued last month.

 

In line with his vision to transform Pakistan into a welfare state, PM Khan had ordered for the upgrade of the existing shelter homes to a prototype – with better facilities, improved infrastructure, and extended capacity to cater to a larger number of daily wage laborers.

In the next phase – this model prototype – with improved service delivery and standards, would be replicated in the remaining shelter homes in Islamabad. Then in the third phase, this prototype would be extended to other shelter homes across Pakistan. The model shelter home at Tarlai was renewed as per the orders of PM Khan within a month.

The images from the visit of PM Khan to the shelter home circulated on social media yesterday. PM Khan interacted and mingled with the people. He discussed their problems and shared food with them.

Serve poor with dignity

In his speech, he exhorted the administration to serve the people at shelter homes with dignity and respect. The premier said: “The poor don’t have a voice and they will never object. This is our duty to serve them with quality and dignity.”

Dr. Sania Nishtar, PM’s aide on alleviation of poverty and social welfare projects, briefed the premier about the overhauled administrative setup and service standards.

 

“Thank you, prime minister, for entrusting Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division with a mandate to enhance the quality and scale of Panagahs,” she said.

Read more: Pakistan’s PM takes a new initiative: Homes for Homeless

“Leveraging on IT capabilities, the living standards have been restructured with enhanced infrastructure for food catering and living, security protocols, standardized capacity, organized HR, eligibility criteria, effective monitoring, regulated donations, and financial details,” she added.

The premier, during his short speech, recounted his experience at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital. Khan asserted the administration at SKMCH put extraordinary efforts to train its staff to treat the poor and destitute with equal care and compassion.

“Nation is not known based on how well it’s rich segment is living, instead it is based on how well the weaker segment is taken care of” PM Imran Khan’s speech at Model Tarlai Panah Gah.

Khan added that the better qualities at the shelter home would provide a clean and healthy living environment for the daily wage laborer flocking to Islamabad and other big cities to earn from remote areas.

He said free-of-cost food and shelter would enable them to save money for families. Moreover, he commented that the government can rope in the monetary help from civil society in the form of donation and funds to these welfare projects only if the administration maintains the quality service delivery at these shelter homes.

Later, Sania Nishtar also took to Twitter and thanked the premier for the visit. “On Aug 9, a strategy was approved by the PM to improve service quality in Panagahs. As a follow-up, standards have been implemented in a model “One-Star+ bed and meals”, Panahgah which will serve as a replicable model. Thanks, Prime Minister for your visit & the encouragement,” tweeted Nishtar.

Read more: Panahgah in need of Panah: Shelter Homes nears shut down

Earlier, on September 3, Sania Nishtar in a tweet had informed that the Pakistan Baitul Maal had been supervising the project of the upgrade of the shelter home at Tarlai, Islamabad.

The officials at the Tarlai Shelter Homes informed that the center was constructed in Dec 2018 and was upgraded within a month.

Administrative problems at shelter homes

Last year in December, reports emerged that, PM Khan’s key initiative shelter homes named “Panahgaahs” for the homeless people were reeling with limited funds to function smoothly.

The report claimed the local authorities and administration are funding the makeshift homes from their budget since the federal authority had not allocated the budget for the operations of Panahgahs.

 

An unnamed source from the administration warned that the running of shelter homes will be difficult in the long-run if the government does not assign the funds for the project.

Shelter homes were built in Islamabad-Punjab and KP, in the makeshift structures, government properties, and rented buildings.

The authorities in Peshawar also complained that the lack of funds clouds the smooth functioning of the homes; adding that they have not been given the funds by the provincial or federal government for the panahgaahs that saddled the cash-strapped administration for other development and administrative projects.

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