PESHAWAR - The Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has promulgated the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Deserving Widows and Special Persons Welfare Foundation Ordinance 2013.

Following the promulgation of the new law, a welfare foundation would be established under the auspices of the social welfare department. The foundation would be an independent statutory body to be run by a board of governor's consisting of a chairperson and 10 members. Majority of the members of the board shall be eminent persons from the civil society.

The board besides performing other functions shall approve cases of deserving widows and handicapped persons for grant of financial assistance, and shall also take steps for generation of resources for the Foundation from within the country and abroad.

The provincial government will initially allocate an amount of Rs 500 million for the foundation. Simultaneously philanthropists from within the country and abroad would be asked to join in, for generating additional resource for the Foundation. An amount of Rs 30,000 will be given to a deserving widow and a disabled person at the rate of Rs 2500 per month. As per the statistics collected by the Social welfare Department, there are a total of 69000 poor widows and an equal number of disabled persons in the province.

In the first year of its operation a total of 14,000 widows and 13,000 disabled persons would benefit from this scheme. During the subsequence years additional poor widows and disabled persons would benefit from the scheme, and this shall continue.

The spokesman of the social welfare department was fully confident that philanthropists from all over world would generously contribute their bid for a noble cause. He further stated that the affairs of the Foundation would be totally transparent and open to public scrutiny. The spokesman further elaborated that the poor widows and disabled persons receiving aid from Zakat funds shall also be eligible to receive assistance from the Foundation for the reason that the Guzara allowance i.e. Rs 1000 per month paid to a widow from Zakat is too meagre amount.

Moreover Zakat funds are meant for Muslim destitute only, whereas the foundation shall take care of poor widows and handicapped persons belonging to religions other than Islam.