ISLAMABAD-The government is firming up a plan to set up emergency shelter homes at public sector schools of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad to deal with the anticipated surge in number of daily wage earners due to reopening of the construction sector.

“A rapid assessment process has already been initiated to identify the places for setting up the emergency ‘Panahgahs’ in view of the possible boost in construction activities in the twin cities,” Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Shelter Homes NaseemurRehman said during a meeting with the delegation of Saylani Welfare Trust delegation, led by its Chairman Bashir FarooqQadri.

The discussion on expansion of the shelter homes’ network was held in a backdrop of the meeting which took place between Prime Minister Imran Khan and the same delegation of Saylani Welfare Trust the other day.

Following the instruction of prime minister, the participants of meeting evolved a plan to ensure uninterrupted supply of food at those makeshift facilities which were to be set up before the advent of holy month of Ramazan.

The focal person informed the delegation that he was in contact with other stakeholders to ensure medical supplies for the beneficiaries of shelter homes. “Our focus is not only on provision of food and shelter to the poor people but also on their protection from imminent threat of coronavirus.”

He said all-out efforts would be made to ensure health environment at those temporary facilities. Radios would be installed at the places to sensitize the beneficiaries about precautionary measures like social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing.

Chairman Saylani Welfare Trust Bashir FarooqQadri assured the focal person of his organization’s support in making the emergency shelter homes operational at the earliest. The teams of Saylani at district level would support the shelter homes management in carrying out day-to-day affairs of those facilities, he added.

He said not a single government in the past had spent so much on the welfare of downtrodden as the present government. “We have found this partnership very rewarding, especially in terms of delivering food to needy and helpless people in such effective manner.”

“It is the first time in the history of country that we have seen such deep and steadfast commitment on the part of government for the welfare and well-being of poor people,” Bashir remarked.

Naseem said the care for a small elite was just a thing of past. Now the equal level of attention was being given to every segment of society. “Even the concept of giving care to poor and needy is transforming itself and that comes from the highest level of political commitment,” he added.

The chairman said his welfare trust was in process of opening more food centres keeping in view the expected pick up in construction sector.

Special plan for Ramazan also came under discussion in which static food centresof Saylani trust would be replaced with mobile ones.