Shelters or Panah Gah initiative has set a new precedent, worthy of every praise. Living to the spirit of ‘welfare state’, the shelters have not only provided relief for those travelling from different cities for health or work purposes, but it is also adding value to the lives of daily labourers.
52 years old Munir Ahmed express it while talking to a local news source. Working as a hawker at Pindi’s popular Pir Wadhai bus stand, Munir manages to earn Rs 1000 per day. Sometimes it can be more, but some days, if the protests are on and there is no flow of buses or transportation – he doesn’t earn anything at all.
But now, ever since Panah Gah has been established, providing food to the needy, he has been managing to save some extra money every single day.
“I used to spend Rs200 a day on food, and at night I would get a charpoy at the bus stand for Rs60. But since the Panah Gah opened in I-11 last month, I first try to get a charpoy there, because it’s provided for free, and failing that I go to the bus stand,” – he told speaking to Dawn.
Whether or not he gets a place to sleep, with getting food three times a day, he can save up to Rs 300 daily. This is helping him save more and send more money to his home. After the order of the Prime Minister, two shelters have been initiated in I-11 Sabzi Mandi and in Tarlai. Both shelters were set up within 20 days. The one established in Tarlai can house around 150 men and 50 women, while the one in Sabzi Mandi can house 150 men and women.
A number of shelters have been set up across the country, but they are tents. Only Islamabad has a fully functional shelter, in an established building, with a properly deputed staff. Ahmed added that while the shelters are doing an incredible job at facilitating people, the capacity should be increased so maximum people can be accommodated.
Article originally published in DAWN.
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