ISLAMABAD: Prime Min-ister Imran Khan Sunday announced to expand “Ehsaas Koi Bhooka na Soye Programme” to three cities of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Peshawar, Lahore and Faisalabad.
Under the programme, free food will be distributed through mobile kitchens among labourers, daily wage earners and low income people who could not afford to have access to Panahgaahs and Langarkhanas run by government in partnership with the private sector.
In a virtual event held in Islamabad, Faisalabad, Lahore and Peshawar simultaneously, the prime minister along with chief minister Punjab Usman Buzdar and chief minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan started distribution of food among people through kitchens on trucks in the three cities.
In his remarks, the prime minister said Pakistan was made in the name of Islam which rose as a new civilization in a very short time and the Riyasat e Madina established itself as a model for rule of law and service to humanity.
He said the blessings of Allah showered on those who feed the hungry and take care of the poor people. Pakistan was among the top countries whose people give immense amount of charity, he noted.
He said when he planned to set up Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, he was told even by doctors that it was difficult to run the cancer hospital. Now the hospital was giving free treatment to 70 percent of cancer patients, he added.
“We fulfilled the promise with the people and gave free treatment to cancer patients and arranged for their food and accommodation.”
He told that first he established the cancer hospital in Lahore with Rs 700 million and uptil now it had already spent Rs 50 billion on treatment of people. The second cancer hospital was built in Peshawar and third will be constructed in Karachi.
People of Pakistan gave money for the construction of the three hospitals, he said adding same people will make the Koi Bhooka Na Soye Programme successful and there will be a network of these facilities across the country.
Imran Khan said for the first time in the history of Pakistan, Panahgaahs were set up for labourers who came from other cities and did not have a place to spend night. They also get food at these Panahgaahs and save money to send it to their families back home. The network of Panahgaahs will also be expanded, he assured. He said universal health insurance will be given to the whole population in the provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A citizen will have insurance of Rs one million to spend on his medical needs.
In the next phase, the network of hospitals will be expanded and further reforms will be undertaken in the health sector, he informed.
He lauded chief ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Senator Sania Nishter and Saylani Trust for successfully running the different components of the Ehsaas programme, for arranging finances and ensuring transparency. He urged people to give Zakat and donations in the month of Ramzan for different Ehsaas programmes.
Under the new food programme, four trucks in each city will distribute food among 500 to 1000 people every day at specific service points.
Initially, the prime minister launched the Koi Bhooka na Soye Programme in Rawalpindi and Islamabad on March 10. So far mobile kitchens had served food to more than 38000 people. The food was being prepared on the truck kitchens equipped with all the cooking utensils.
The Koi Bhooka na Soye Programme was part of vision of the prime minister for the year 2021. According to the prime minister, the programme will ensure that nobody goes hungry. By the year end, the programme will be further expanded to different parts of the country.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Senator Sania Nishter briefed the participants about different aspects of the Ehsaas programme.
She said on Monday a bank account number will be announced so that philanthropists could deposit their charity amount in it.