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‘KP govt spending over Rs430 million on children’s institute’

National

March 3, 2016

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is spending more than Rs430 million on the much-publicised Zamung Kor Institute to cater to the needs of about 1000 street children in the province, leaving a mere amount of Rs93 million to be spent on 25 other welfare projects during the current and next financial years of 2016-18.

According to the document shared with The News, Zamung Kor has been established in the abandoned 216 flats at Nasapa at a cost of Rs430 million. It has accommodation for over 10,000 street children, who will be provided education, health, recreation, sports, boarding, food, career and psychological counselling along with other necessary facilities.

The provincial government has also planned to acquire about 12 acres of land to build a sports ground, auditorium and cricket academy in the institute. However, it failed to acquire the desired land as the owners did not agree to give their precious agricultural land for a project focusing a smallest segment of the society.

But they have now identified a piece of land in the locality, which could be provided in exchange of their land the provincial government intended to acquire for the project. The provincial government, in its current budget for the Social Welfare and Women Empowerment sector, has planned to focus on providing social cushion to the deprived and marginalised segments of society, especially women.

In the proposed development plan, the Social Welfare and Women Empowerment Department included schemes for the wellbeing and safeguarding of destitute women, orphans, beggars, drug addicts and special persons.

An allocation of Rs523.000 million had been made for a total of 26 projects, out of which 16 are ongoing with allocation of Rs324.366 million and 10 are new with allocation of Rs198.634 million.

The establishment of Zamung Kor is also one of these projects. Other schemes include construction of Special Education Centre at Shangla, construction of a building for Deaf and Dumb School at Takhtbhai in Mardan, provision of laptops to schools for the blind in the province, construction of building for special children’s education at Haripur, establishment of zakat & ushr offices at Hayatabad, construction of TABDEELI Centre at Hayatabad and completion of balance work of women’s vocational centre at Matta, Swat.

However, like other departments in the province, the funds utilisation by the Social Welfare and Women Empowerment Department also remained low during the fiscal and it could only spent 8 percent of its Annual Development Programme funds in the first half of the fiscal.

Besides these projects, the department is also running eight homes for beggars and destitute children, three Darul Kafalas for senior citizens and crisis centres for women in distress. But a number of these institutions are sort of non-functional due to probe being carried out by the Ehtesab Commission and the children form one of the welfare homes shifted to the Zamung Kor.

The provincial government has yet to develop rules to run Zamung Kor facility and it has not launched any survey even to identify deserving children on the streets. It only shifted children from another similar facility, Welfare Home for Children, to get Zamung Kor started for reasons known to those at the helm of affairs.

Head of Zamung Kor caretaker committee and Qaumi Watan Party’s Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Meraj Humayun also admitted that children had been shifted from the Welfare Home after thorough assessment and selection process. She said that 11-member staff in the facility had been provided donation by the Ummah Trust, her own organisation De Laas Gul, Khapal Kor, Bazeecha Trust and Shahzad Roy.

Meraj added that in addition to all this, “half a dozen experts in different fields are preparing the working documents, polices and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the Zamung Kor on voluntary basis.”

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