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April 20, 2019

All set for Shab-e-Barat


April 20, 2019

LAHORE: Shab-e-Barat, the 15th of Sha’aban, considered as the night of blessings and forgiveness will be observed on the night between Saturday (today) and Sunday with traditional religious zeal and solemnity.

A large number of the faithful will go to mosques to offer special prayers nawafil and Shabina during the whole night, which according to some traditions is the night of blessings and accountability wherein mass judgments regarding lives, deaths, bestowments and blessings for the next year are made by Almighty Allah. In addition, judgments for awarding blessings and Rizq to the believers are also made and prayers of the believers are answered. City mosques have already been specially decorated with lightings and buntings to celebrate the occasion and facilitate the worshippers. To enhance security measures, the number of police guards deployed outside mosques will be increased by the government to maintain the security of the worshippers inside the mosques. The believers will make special prayers for the unity, prosperity and security of the country and entire Muslim Ummah.

Special nawafil and Shabina will also be offered by the people to seek blessings of Allah and forgiveness for their sins. Besides, a large number of believers will visit graveyards including women and children to make special prayers for the departed souls of their near and dear ones. Ulema and prayer leaders have appealed to the masses to make diligent and whole hearted supplications before Almighty Allah on the blessed night for themselves and especially for the security and solidarity of our country and entire ummah and Muslim brethren facing persecutions and atrocities by the enemies of Islam.

Special mehfil Shabina will be offered in Badshahi masjid and other large and small city mosques. On the day after the blessed night, special sweet dishes like Halwa, Zarda etc. will be prepared and distributed among the relatives and neighbors apart from the poor and destitute. In addition to that, Langar (food in large quantities) will also be distributed among the orphans and the destitute at special langars in mosques and by the philanthropists.

Our correspondent adds: The Punjab government attaches high priority to nutrition and population sectors and has undertaken a number of immediate interventions and formulated a long-term action plan.

Aligned with the Prime Minister's agenda on nutrition and stunting, the multi-sectoral nutrition centre at the Planning and Development Board is being strengthened by including other sectors such as population and renamed as Multi-sectoral Nutrition and Population Centre.

A spokesperson of the Planning and Development Department Friday stated that Punjab fares better compared to national statistics i.e. 31.5% of the children under-5 remain stunted, 7.5% remain wasted and 21.2% remain underweight (MICS 2018). Regardless, the burden of malnutrition remains distressing, with more than one-thirds of the present generation being compromised, in terms of physical and cognitive growth. The implications of such high rates of malnutrition are multi-fold and long-lasting, including higher dropout rates in schools, lower productivity and lower future earnings. Cognizant of these realities, the government of Punjab is committed to deliver a comprehensive and thorough plan for the province. The Punjab government is committed to developing sustainable solutions and implementing meaningful reforms to achieve a healthy and nutritious province. Demographic trends play a crucial role in impacting nutrition and the large population in Punjab inherently translates into a greater challenge for the provincial government in providing adequate nutrition for every individual citizen. Hence, collaborative efforts through a strengthened multi-sectoral strategy and centre supported by an integrated approach will ensure that the crucial work done in the areas of nutrition and population can pay dividends for the province in the future.

The Planning and Development Board has set key targets in nutrition and population which aims to achieve by 2025 through the Nutrition and Population Centre. The Centre will carry out policy making, strategic planning and other interventions, stunting is to be reduced from the current 31.5% to 17.5% in 2025, wasting from the current 7.5% to 5% along with other crucial indicators of population growth rate and unmet needs of Family Planning etc. Keeping in view the crucial challenges in nutrition and other areas, the Multi-sectoral Nutrition and Population Centre at the Planning and Development Board with support from departments concerned and key development partners including but not limited to UNICEF, UNFPA, DFID, TRP Plus, SH&ME, Population Welfare Department, and Primary and Secondary Health, will ensure timely and effective steps.

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