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PM launches “Koi Bhuka Na Soye” under Ehsaas program

The prime minister described the ‘Koi Bhuka Na Soye’ programme as the beginning of Pakistan’s transformation into a welfare state. The labour class will be provided with free meals twice a day.

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Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said the government, in order to protect the poor people from inflation and price-hike, would initiate a revolutionary programme of providing direct subsidy to 30 million families – around half of the country’s population from June.

He said this while launching here the ‘Koi Bhuka Na Soye’ programme, under which the poor and labour classes would be provided free meal boxes twice a day through mobile trucks at various points of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The prime minister said through the direct subsidy programme, which will be carried out under the umbrella of Ehsaas, subsidy amounts would be directly credited to the accounts of poor people enabling them to buy basic food items like wheat flour, sugar, ghee, pulses etc.

The government, he added, would also bring a similar direct subsidy programme for the farmers to help them in getting fertilizers and other agricultural inputs on subsidized rates.

The prime minister who earlier visited the kitchen in one of the mobile food distribution trucks checked the quality, and distributed meals among some of the daily wage earners.

The prime minister said with 70% of work already completed for the direct subsidy programme, progress on the remaining 30% was underway.

PM Imran Khan described the ‘Koi Bhuka Na Soye’ programme as the beginning of Pakistan’s transformation into a welfare state.

He appreciated the Ehsaas and Bait-ul-Mal teams for the successful launch of the programme and said the provision of free meals would help the poor, deserving, labourers and daily wagers to save their hard-earned money to fulfil the needs of their children and families.

Read more: Monthly allowance for poor children increased under the Ehsaas Nashonuma Program

Imran Khan directed the officials concerned to particularly take care of the self-respect of the poor people benefiting from the government-sponsored facilities of Panaagahs (Shelter Homes), Langars (Free Meals) and Kio Bhuka Na Soye.

He said the mobile trucks or vans carrying food should especially visit the localities of the poor and labourers to ensure that the free meals reach the deserving.

The prime minister said the programme was initially being started in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, which would help the government learn about the issues and problems, and will improve it before its extension to other cities.

It was his dream to extend the ‘Koi Bhuka Na Soye’ programme to the whole country and “Insha Allah we will do it”, he added.

Imran Khan said a large number of philanthropists in the country desired to participate in such programmes, and he believed that the success of the pilot project in the twin cities would help win their trust to contribute towards its extension across Pakistan.

He also mentioned with pride the government’s health card scheme in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Gilgit Baltistan, under which each family was entitled to medical treatment worth Rs one million from any public or private hospital.

The prime minister, in a briefing on the occasion, was informed that after extensive deliberations on different avenues, the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) initiated the Meals on Wheels programme to tackle the extended demands of Panahgaahs.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar said the programme was aimed at providing two times hygienically packed food – lunch and dinner – to the needy individuals through real-time mobile kitchens in urban and rural areas of Islamabad.  The project would be later scaled up to other areas of the country.

PBM Managing Director Aon Abbas, in his briefing, said at present two Ehsaas food trucks were serving free quality cooked food at various points across the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, including hospitals, bus stations and other public places with utmost dignity. The meals were cooked, stored and distributed from the truck kitchen.

As per estimates, each food truck would feed two meals to around 2,000 people daily and would target those, who could not reach the Panahgaahs for food.

Read more: Ehsaas Kafaalat Program to provide financial assistance to 7 million people

The programme had been designed in a public-private partnership model whereby the PBM would be responsible for the operations of food trucks and Saylani Welfare International Trust would be responsible for the provision of meals.

The Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal had already been working on the component of Panahgaahs to provide food and shelter to the extremely poor and needy.It had so far established 15 Panahgaahs in different provinces.

To make ‘Ehsaas Koi Bhuka Na Soye’ more financially stable, the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division had constituted a “Donor Coordination Group” that would serve as an Ehsaas channel to engage with the private sector. Pledges and commitments by the private sector, international agencies, philanthropists, civil society and individuals would be overseen by the coordination group.

The step was a new policy initiative of the Federal Government to eliminate hunger in the country. It was an extension of the Ehsaas Langar Policy, which was aimed at distributing cooked meals at designated delivery points to the people in need, especially those at risk of or experiencing hunger.

The prime minister, in a briefing on the occasion, was informed that after extensive deliberations on different avenues, the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) initiated the Meals on Wheels programme to tackle the extended demands of Panahgaahs.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar said the programme was aimed at providing two times hygienically packed food – lunch and dinner – to the needy individuals through real-time mobile kitchens in urban and rural areas of Islamabad.  The project would be later scaled up to other areas of the country.

PBM Managing Director Aon Abbas, in his briefing, said at present two Ehsaas food trucks were serving free quality cooked food at various points across the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, including hospitals, bus stations and other public places with utmost dignity. The meals were cooked, stored and distributed from the truck kitchen.

As per estimates, each food truck would feed two meals to around 2,000 people daily, and would target those, who could not reach the Panahgaahs for food.

Read more: EHSAAS: A so-called welfare program

The programme had been designed in a public-private partnership mode whereby the PBM would be responsible for the operations of food trucks and Saylani Welfare International Trust would be responsible for the provision of meals.

The Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal had already been working on the component of Panahgaahs to provide food and shelter to the extremely poor and needy. It had so far established 15 Panahgaahs in different provinces.

To make ‘Ehsaas Koi Bhuka Na Soye’ more financially stable, the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division had constituted a “Donor Coordination Group” that would serve as an Ehsaas channel to engage with the private sector. Pledges and commitments by the private sector, international agencies, philanthropists, civil society and individuals would be overseen by the coordination group.

The step was a new policy initiative of the Federal Government to eliminate hunger in the country. It was an extension of the Ehsaas Langar Policy, which was aimed at distributing cooked meals at designated delivery points to the people in need, especially those at risk of or experiencing hunger.

After the briefing, the prime minister visited the kitchen in one of the trucks, checked quality of the food, and distributed meals among some of the daily wage earners.

Courtesy: APP

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