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October 8, 2019

Ehsaas Langar Scheme launched: Soup kitchen will be expanded across country

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October 8, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said the government had only 13 months in power while the people were impatient and asking where was ‘Naya Pakistan’.

This he said while launching the ‘Ehsaas Langar Scheme’ here. The prime minister regretted that the entire tax collection was through price hike on the poor people and this was leading to the gap between the rich and the poor and was taking away blessing from the system. “We have to take the responsibility of the poor people. And we are reversing this trend of burdening the poor people,” he remarked.

The prime minister explained that the business community would be supported so that they could earn more and this way, the government would collect taxes and this money would be spent on the weak segments of the society, which was already done by China.

He continued that the government would fully support the business community, whereas no government in the past had lent support to the industry the way the incumbent government was doing. He added that Pakistan would be made a welfare state, but people were impatient and while the PTI was in government for just 13 months, they had started asking where was the Naya Pakistan.

Talking to the people being served with food at the Langar site, the prime minister said, “Ehsaas Langar is a real step towards the creation of welfare state modelled on Riyasat-e-Madina. The Langar is aimed at feeding the poor and improving the lives of marginalised.”

He added, “This is our government’s top priority that nobody should sleep hungry in Pakistan. We will expand this scheme nationwide to ensure food security for low income class till our economy and industrialisation gets boosted, and we are striving hard for it.”

He contended that the state of Madina was the government’s ideal, but it was not established on the very first day…it was a struggle. He added that Pakistan would also be transformed and people would see for themselves, how would the change happen.

“When we shall lift the weak segments of the society, there will be blessing in the society. Changes for betterment in hospitals are being brought about. The police system is also being changed. The government is bringing changes in each sector, which should bring improvement in the life of the common man. When people sleep hungry, the state sheds blessing,” he noted. At the inauguration site, the prime minister sat and had lunch with people and heard their issues and assured a swift resolution to their troubles.

Maulana Bashir Farooqi, founder Saylani Welfare International Trust (SWIT), assured full cooperation of the Trust to Ehsaas under the Langar scheme and thanked the prime minister for extending generous support to the Trust in this national scale joint endeavour.

Under an agreement with the SWIT, Ehsaas will open 112 Langars nationwide over a two-year period under the public private partnership. The Langars are meant to serve meals to the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the society, especially daily-wage labourers.

The first Langar was opened in Islamabad, where at least 600 people will be provided free meals daily. The Ehsaas scheme will now be extended countrywide with as many as 112 Langar schemes being set up over the period of two years to feed millions of people lacking food in particular in- Karachi, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Quetta and Peshawar. Langar scheme has been designed with the ethos to contribute substantively to SDG 1 and SDG 2 i.e. no poverty and zero hunger respectively. The government is putting in its maximum efforts and resources to bring a positive change in the society and ensure welfare of the poor.

In this respect, this joint initiative has been launched by Ehsaas in partnership with the SWIT. As part of this collaboration, the federal government has extended on-the-ground facilitation and support, while the Trust has brought in its kitchen and food distribution resources for the marginalised.

Currently, the Ehsaas Langar site in Islamabad provides food two times daily to around 600 people daily. For lunch, the charity food is served from noon to 2:00pm and for dinner from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. People are pleased with the food quality and the degree of respect and dignity with which they are being served.

Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, thanked the prime minister for his supervision and guidance in making Langar scheme a reality.