Islamabad, January 17, 2020 (PPI-OT): Ehsaas opens second Langar at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad today. This Langar will serve two meals a day to at least 1,000 persons including patients and their attendants at PIMS as per the vision of the Prime Minister Imran Khan. In the first phase, Ehsaas Saylani Langars will be opened in Peshawar, Swat, Multan, Lahore and Umer Kot in the next two months. Overall, in the public private partnership with Saylani Welfare International Trust (SWIT), Ehsaas will set up 112 Langars nationwide over a two-year period. The first prototype Langar was inaugurated by the PM on Oct 7, 2019 at Peshawar More in Islamabad.
SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar and SAPM on Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza, performed the ground-breaking of PIMS Langar. Also, present at the occasion were Advisor to Chairman SWIT, Muhammad Afzal Chamdia, Muhammad Ghazzal, Chief Operating Officer, SWIT and Executive Director PIMS, Dr. Ansir. Langars are part of PM’s ‘Mazdoor ka Ehsaas’ initiative and are primarily meant to serve meals to the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the society, especially daily wage labourers.
The Ehsaas Saylani Langar project has specifically been designed with the ethos to contribute substantively to SDG 1 and SDG 2 i.e. No poverty and Zero Hunger respectively. “The Prime Minister is personally committed to ensuring that no one goes to bed hungry in Pakistan and Ehsaas is working hard to realize that vision”, stated SAPM Dr. Nishtar. Elaborating further, she said, “Under the Ehsaas framework, the Government is mainly extending logistic support to Langars through a strategic approach to collaboration with zero cost implications.
The second way in which the government is playing its role is by setting safety and quality standards, and the third is by disseminating information widely”. “We are glad to give free space for the Langar at the PIMS, Islamabad. Families of poor patients will be served here”, remarked SAPM Dr. Mirza Mr. Chamdia, Advisor to Chairman- SWIT thanked the Federal Government for extending on-the-ground facilitation and support and reassured that the Trust will continue bringing in all its kitchen and food distribution resources to feed the marginalized across Pakistan.
Executive Director, PIMS lauded the support of Federal Government and SWIT in opening this Langar at the PIMS vicinity and pledged full cooperation of PIMS in this noble cause. There is a lot of criticism on Langars but they lessen despair among the homeless. They restore dignity and self-reliance to those that will otherwise go hungry, and they contribute to grassroots activism and social cohesion with food security and nutrition aims.
The advantage of Langars can be asked from the poor labourers who almost forego lunch or from those people who accompany their relatives coming for medical treatment from very far flung areas and have no means and money to get food and shelter and stay on footpaths. SWIT, which is partnering with Ehsaas on this Langar initiative, is a reputable Pakistani charity focusing on social welfare of the poor and distressed.
The Trust already provides over 70,000 meals a day and with government support this will be doubled. Under the Ehsaas Saylani agreement, the expectation is that the trust will provide healthy and nutritious meals, ensure quality of food, cleanliness in the premises; and that in each langar, hand-washing will be promoted, trans-fats will not be used in cooking, salt will be kept to a minimum, and nutrition guidelines adopted by Ehsaas will be followed.
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