ISLAMABAD, Feb 11 (APP): The historic initiative of establishing well-equipped shelter homes (Panahgahs) under the umbrella of Ehsaas across the country continues to win the hearts of downtrodden segments of society.
The facility resolves their most urgent need of a respectable dwelling when away from home and having meager resources to afford hotel residence.
The idea has been conceived by Prime Minister Imran Khan to facilitate those poor who earlier had to spend their nights under the open sky braving the scorching heat and pinching cold.
Earlier, their ordinary abode had been the footpaths, bus stands, parks and markets. Every falling night away from home had been aching for them either physically or financially.
Then they had to have a blessing in the form of Panahgah – thanks to the present government. Two times a day meal, quilts, bedding was all they had always desired while at far destinations.
Since September 2020 onwards, the Ehsaas Panahgah project has facilitated a total of 506521 persons including shelter provided to 57338 persons and meals served to 449183 persons till date.
While during this current month (February), the Panahgah initiative has benefited a total of 51860 persons including shelter provided to 4718 and meals served to 47142 persons.
The five Panahgahs in the Federal Capital at Bara Kahu, Mandi Mor, Peshawar Mor, Tarlai and Tarnol have so far benefited 482030 people with shelter to 56673 and meals to 425357 persons.
With people extending best wishes, the government is busy in expending the network to Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.
Amir Nadeem from Jhelum has applauded this endeavor saying, “Prime Minister Imran Khan has provided an excellent facility for the poor people.
It should have been done way back, but, only the PTI government has conceived this idea. This is a very good initiative for the poor people.”
Talking to APP, he expressed satisfaction on the facilities being provided at site including mattress, pillows, warm quilts and above all the meal.
“They follow a process for entry. Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal has made good arrangement of cleanliness. The staff is fully cooperative in facilitating the shelter seekers”, he said.
“Now, we have a respectable facility to benefit. But, people like me also have obligation. They should also be cooperative and adopt SOPs for COVID,” Amir Nadeem emphasized.
Mahmood Hassan who belongs to Swabi termed the arrangements at the Panahgah as extraordinary and said this as an excellent facility for the poor and labourers.
Earlier the poor people used to sleep on footpaths and outside the shops in the chilly weather but now they sleep in the cozy beds with quilts which he termed as a great facility for the poor.
Mahmood Hassan said that a proper procedure is followed for staying in the Panahgah under which a card having bed number is allocated to the shelter seeker after checking the body temperature and original Computerized National Identity Card.
Muhammad Obaid Ullah Abbasi, Shift Incharge at G-9 Panahgah manages 100 beds settlement where medical facilities are also provided besides food and shelter.“We are working under the supervision of MD, Baitul Maal, Aon Abbas Bappi who is materializing Prime Minister, Imran Khan’s dream of facilitating the poor,” he said.
“We have a procedure. A shelter seeker has to submit his CNIC, the information is entered into a computer and he is issued a card carrying his bed number. A person can stay in Panahgah for three days and if he has to come again for stay, he can with the gap of two days,” Obaid informed.
Usually, whole of the space remains occupied, he said, but we have an arrangement and the left over at one settlement are ferried to the other. “We have instructions from the Prime Minister that whosoever seeks shelter at Panahgah should be accommodated for sure.”
Obaid Ullah Abbasi also mentioned to a proper health system titled “Apnaa Doctor” to facilitate ailing shelter seekers and said, any person complaining of illness is attended by a doctor-on-call. The patients inform him about illness and the doctor prescribes him medicine.
Another Shift Incharge, Maimoona Qureshi informed that shelter seekers are first checked and sanitized, then they are provided mask prior to entering the premises.
Then they are taken to the duty officer for CNICs checking and taking thumb impression and picture to enter their details in database before allotting a bed.
“The sick and old-age people are given priority in terms of provision of shelter and are given beds near to washrooms for their facilitation,” she said.