Sindh is overburdened by people from other provinces, says Shehla Raza

January 27, 2020

Sindh has been providing employment opportunities to people from entire Pakistan but now the province has been overburdened with people from other provinces and cannot afford to provide work and...

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Sindh has been providing employment opportunities to people from entire Pakistan but now the province has been overburdened with people from other provinces and cannot afford to provide work and living facilities to them anymore.

Sindh Women Development Minister Shehla Raza said this on Saturday as she spoke at the 40th National Community Convention of HANDS, an NGO, on its 40th founding day at its headquarters in Gadap. The theme of the convention was ‘Let’s Develop Pakistan’.

“People from Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and even Kashmir come to Karachi and other cities of Sindh for work but now the province is overburdened with people from other provinces. It is right time that other provinces create environment to provide work and livelihood opportunities to their people near their abodes,” she said.

Founded by Prof A Ghaffar Billoo in 1979, HANDS has evolved in 37 years as one of the largest Nnon-profit organisations of the country with integrated development model. It has a network of 31 offices across the country and access to more than 22.2 million people in nearly 17,000 villages or settlement in 48 districts of Pakistan.

Sindh Agriculture Minister Muhammad Ismail Rahu, Human Settlement Minister Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, opposition MPA Nusrat Sehar Abbasi and others also spoke at the ceremony in which directors, general managers and volunteers of HANDS were awarded medals and awards.

Rahu said Pakistan was facing unique challenges because of its critical geopolitical situation. “The Sindh government is committed to achieve the milestones agreed under SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] 2030,” he said and added that they would need the support of people like Prof Billoo to improve the socioeconomic conditions of the people of Sindh.

Dr Billoo said that global communities were setting development targets for developing world like us. “In 2000 we were again given targets of Millennium Developments Goals (MDGs) by 2015. Even though we moved forward in various milestones but in maximum targets we were behind the obligations. Now 2030 development agenda is a pronounced task for Pakistan. I know national and provincial governments are committed to achieve the targets but still we strongly emphasise the basic human rights including health care, education, livelihood, water and sanitation, and shelter,” he added.

He was of the view that the government could not obviously afford all these targets without engaging communities and civil society organisations. He said HANDS had strong economic support from all the provincial governments, especially the Sindh government.

HANDS Chief Executive Officer Dr.Shaikh Tanveer Ahmed said keeping in view the SGDs 2030 goals, HANDS was providing services to 3.3 million direct beneficiaries through its offices all over the country.

“Our goal is to make 25,000 communities as model communities up to 2030. From 2010 to 2017, HANDS constructed 8,587 shelters accommodation in Pakistan with the budget of Rs150,000. During the same period, HANDS provided 26,493 water and sanitation schemes to communities with the cost of Rs30,000 to Rs87,000. We have also trained 5,661 teachers of 4,628 schools in this way while 0.36 million students got indirect benefit through HANDS,” he said.

He added that HANDS Independent Living Centre (ILC) was an advance facility and unique resource for people with disabilities as it provided them opportunity to acquire expertise for day-to-day life so that they could live an independent life.

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