ISLAMABAD - Besides providing financial assistance to the poor and indigent families, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has initiated a graduation strategy under which Technical and Vocational Trainings are imparted to its beneficiaries so that they could acquire skills enabling them to earn dignified livelihood and break the shackles of poverty. Ms. Farzana Raja, Federal Minister and Chairperson of BISP, said this while talking to Donglin Li, Country Director of the International Labor Organization (ILO), who met her at BISP Secretariat on Thursday, says a press release. Ms Farzana Raja briefed Li about the working of the BISP and said that under the vocational training programme, one person of each beneficiary family will be given vocational training. She said that the pilot of this initiative has already been started in the district where the poverty survey has been completed. She said that the BISP has adopted a completely transparent system of providing direct cash support to the vulnerable population without any political discrimination. This is believed to have significant impact in empowering the poor, particularly women and has the potential to rejuvenate the nation by sending a strong signal of hope across the country. Ms Farzana Raja added that to ensure transparency in the transfer of payments the BISP has taken steps to modernise the payment mechanism, like the introduction of the Benazir Smart Card. The adoption of an internationally recognized instrument for beneficiary identification, in the form of the Poverty Scorecard has also helped the programme to reach out to truly deserving people. The Chairperson of BISP said that with the introduction of Health and Accident Insurance and vocational training cover for the identified families, the BISP is fast on its way to become a comprehensive social protection and a poverty eradication programme. Moreover, the launching of the Waseela-e-Haq initiative, aimed at transforming the lives of the poor. Under this initiative, the government is giving a micro credit of Rs 3.00,000 to deserving families, who are randomly selected through a computerized draw out of all enrolled beneficiaries. Ms Farzana Raja appreciated the role of ILO and said that BISP is ready to work with ILO for providing more benefits to its beneficiaries. Donglin Li lauded the performance of BISP and shared his views on proposed collaboration between BISP and ILO on skill development for poor segments of society. He further said that ILO would come up with a comprehensive project proposal about the vocational training initiative of the BISP.