ISLAMABAD, Jan 17 (APP):Special Assistant to Prime Minster on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Friday inaugurated Langar at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to serve the patients and attendants under Ehsaas Programme.

Addressing on the occasion, Dr Zafar Mirza said that this Langar will serve two meals a day to at least 1,000 persons including patients and their attendants at PIMS as per the vision of the Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said that the government is striving to ensure provision of basic health facilities to all countrymen. He added several innovative steps have been taken to strengthen the health sector.

“We are glad to give free space for the Langar at the PIMS. Now families of poor patients will be served here,” Dr Mirza said.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar said that Langars are part of PM’s ‘Mazdoor ka Ehsaas’ initiative and are primarily meant to serve meals to the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the society, especially daily wage laborers.

She said that the Prime Minister is personally committed to ensuring that no one goes to bed hungry in Pakistan and Ehsaas is working hard to realize that vision.

Dr Nishtar added “Under the Ehsaas framework, the government is mainly extending logistic support to Langars through a strategic approach to collaboration with zero cost implications.

She said that in the first phase, Ehsaas Saylani Langars will be opened in Peshawar, Swat, Multan, Lahore and Umer Kot in the next two months. Overall, in the public private partnership with Saylani Welfare International Trust (SWIT), Ehsaas will set up 112 Langars nationwide over a two-year period.

The first prototype Langar was inaugurated by the prime minister at Peshawar More in Islamabad, she added.

Executive Director PIMS Dr Ansar lauded the support of federal government and SWIT in opening this Langar at the PIMS vicinity and pledged full cooperation of PIMS in this noble cause.

He said that this effort will restore dignity and self-reliance to those that will otherwise go hungry, and they contribute to grassroots activism and social cohesion with food security and nutrition aims.

Advisor to Chairman SWIT Muhammad Afzal Chamdia thanked the federal government for extending on-the-ground facilitation and support and reassured that the trust will continue bringing all its kitchen and food distribution resources to feed the marginalized across Pakistan.

He said that the Ehsaas Saylani Langar project has specifically been designed with the ethos to contribute substantively to SDG 1 and SDG 2 like No poverty and Zero Hunger respectively.

He said that the advantage of Langars can be asked from the poor laborers who almost forego lunch or from those people who accompany their relatives coming for medical treatment from very far flung areas and have no means and money to get food and shelter and stay on footpaths.

He said that SWIT, which is partnering with Ehsaas on this Langar initiative, is a reputable Pakistani charity focusing on social welfare of the poor and distressed.

The trust provides over 70,000 meals a day and with government support this will be doubled, he added.

He said that under the Ehsaas Saylani agreement, the expectation is that the trust will provide healthy and nutritious meals, ensure quality of food, cleanliness in the premises and that in each langar, hand-washing will be promoted, trans-fats will not be used in cooking, salt will be kept to a minimum, and nutrition guidelines adopted by Ehsaas will be followed.