PBM helping poor to come out of vicious poverty circle

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By Syed Zahid Majeed

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP): Over 832,858 persons have so far benefitted from various pro-poor initiatives of Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) from its various programmes including individual financial assistance, providing medical aid, technical education, etc.

PBM was running Pakistan Sweet Homes, Child Support Programme, Thalassemia Centre, Great Homes, Vocational Training Centres and National Centre for Rehabilitation of Child Labour.

Managing Director PBM Barrister Abid Waheed Sheikh told APP that the focus of PBM is to provide much needed solace to the deserving and needy. PBM helping people in breaking the vicious circle of inter-generational poverty as providing wheel chairs to disable persons, while special persons were being provided white canes and hearing aid.

He said PBM has recommended to enhance its budget upto Rs 7.5 billion from current Rs 4 billion aiming to help maximum number of the poor. The suggestion if materialized would enable PBM to serve larger number of deserving people.

He said PBM has recently introduced biometrics system for ensuring transparency in the distribution of individual financial assistance (IFA) among the deserving persons.

Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal’s (PBM) Child Support Programme (CSP) has enrolled over 35,000 potential families having 85,000 school going children.

Children are provided free education, residence and food facilities. Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal helps the families for enabling them to educate their children. CSP is being run in 8 districts of the country. UNICEF was planning to expand the programme in more districts.

PBM was paying Rs 300 per month to families of one child and Rs 600 per month to families with two or more than two children.

CSP is being continued in Bhakkar, Rawalpindi, Multan, Bahawalpur, Islamabad Capital Territory, Muzaffarabad, Ghanche, Nawabshah, Tharparkar, Ghotki, Kohistan, Abbottabad, Swat, Quetta, Kharran and Lasbella.

An amount of Rs 184 million approximately has been disbursed among eligible beneficiaries upon fulfillment of compliance conditionalities in CSP.

PBM has so far provided IFA to over 84,403 people through biometrics system. Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) has disbursed a sum of Rs 150.30 million to deserving persons under various financial assistance programmes during last three years.

Meanwhile, the deserving children are being admitted in National Centre for Rehabilitation of Child Labour to save them from child labour. A total of 17,547 child labours were being imparted education in 158 Centres. As many as 26,000 students had completed their education and 23,290 have been admitted in government schools for getting further education.

PBM was running 157 Vocational Dastkari Schools to make vulnerable girls financially self sufficient.

These schools are providing free training to widows, orphans, poor girls various skills including drafting, cutting, sewing, knitting, hand and machine embroidery.

Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) has so far imparted vocational training to 98,334 poor women across the country to help generate their own income.

Currently 8,000 poor widows and girls are being imparted technical education in two shifts in the centres. Trainees are being paid Rs 30 per day as stipend with the aim to make them self sufficient.

Some 64 such schools are working in Punjab, 30 in Sindh, 32 in Khyber Pakhtunkwa and Fata, 18 in Balochistan, 11 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Northern Areas.

The PBM was planning to establish at-least one vocational dastkari school at each district. Duration of each training session is six months. Courses offered are cutting, drafting, tailoring,hand embroidery, machine embroidery and hand knitting. Raw material is provided free of cost.

The trainees are being imparted basic knowledge of computer, office equipments, fax, photocopiers, printers, interior decoration, beautician, cooking, tie and dye and glass painting, etc.

Over 35 Pakistan Sweet Homes were working across the country for providing boarding and other facilities to orphan children. Children from 4 to 6 years are admitted in PSH.

Each PSH accommodates 100 children however over 350 children are residing in two PSHs working in Karachi Company and H-9, Islamabad.

Two more PSHs are being established in Zhob and Quetta. Over 3,700 children are residing in PSHs.

Thalassemia Centre was providing treatment facilities to 20 thalassemia patients per day. PBM has provided financial assistance to 1,500 Thalassemia patients in last three years. Pakistan Thalassemia Centre was also providing treatment facilities to patients of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Northern Areas and Gilgit-Baltistan free of charge.

The Centre provides a ray of hope to orphans and less privileged, who cannot afford the cost for the treatment of this serious disease.

According to a report approximately 100,000 patients are suffering from Thalassemia in Pakistan and every year 5,000 babies are born with this deadly disease.

These patients need regular blood transfusion and iron chelation after consultation with a qualified Hematologist along with regular diagnostic investigations on monthly basis which is unaffordable by the poor families in Pakistan.

Poor, destitute, orphans, widows, invalid and infirm patients are eligible to apply for the treatment from PBM Thalassemia centre. Application is required alongwith a copy of computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) issued by NADRA or its receipt along with a copy of old NIC.