ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday launched the ‘Ehsaas Langar (caring charity food) Scheme’ in Islamabad.

Under an agreement with the Saylani Welfare Trust, Ehsaas will open 112 Langars nationwide over a 2-year period in the public private partnership.

The Langars are meant to serve meals to the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the society, especially daily wage labourers.

The first Langar was opened in Islamabad yesterday, where at least 600 people will be provided free meals daily. The Ehsaas scheme will now be extended countrywide with as many as 112 Langar schemes being set up over the period of two years to feed millions of people lacking food in particular in- Karachi, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Quetta and Peshawar. The Langar scheme has been designed with the ethos to contribute substantively to SDG 1 and SDG 2 i.e. No poverty and Zero Hunger respectively.

The present government is putting in its maximum efforts and resources to bring a positive change in the society and ensure welfare of the poor. In this respect, this joint initiative has been launched by Ehsaas in partnership with the Saylani Welfare International Trust.

112 Food points to be set up across the country

As part of this collaboration, the federal government has extended on-the-ground facilitation and support, while the Trust has brought in its kitchen and food distribution resources for the marginalized.

Talking to the people being served with food at the Langar site, Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “Ehsaas Langar is a real step towards the creation of welfare state modelled on Riyasat-e-Madina. The Langar is aimed at feeding the poor and improving the lives of marginalized. This is our government’s top priority that nobody should sleep hungry in Pakistan. We will expand this scheme nationwide to ensure food security for low income class till our economy and industrialization gets boosted, and we are striving hard for it’.

At the inauguration site, the Prime Minister sat and ate lunch with people and heard their issues and assured a swift resolution to their troubles. Maulana Bashir Farooqi, Founder, SWIT ensured full cooperation of the Trust to Ehsaas under the Langar scheme and thanked the Prime Minister for extending generous support to the Trust in this national scale joint endeavour.

Currently, the Ehsaas Langar site in Islamabad provides food two times daily to around 600 people daily. For lunch, the charity food is served from noon to 2 pm and for dinner from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. People are pleased with the food quality and the degree of respect and dignity with which they are being served.

Addressing on the occasion, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, thanked the Prime Minister for his supervision and guidance in making Langar scheme a reality. The scheme will benefit the deprived by giving them clean charity feeding space where they are served daily free of cost with great respect and honor. She then continued, ‘the recent Langar scheme is a continuation of our religious and cultural legacy as well and it will not only provide relief to those in need but will also add value to the lives of daily laboorers and those earning low incomes’.

The need for Ehsaas Langar is pivotal, as poverty is the fundamental phenomenon behind multidimensional poverty in Pakistan. This have been aggravated by the lack of basic needs for the common man. Such deprivations restrict individuals from participating in economic activity and improving their well-being, therefore keeping them trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty. This joint initiative is also aimed at broadening the circle of social responsibility by the citizens.

Later, a memorandum of action was signed between the Federal Government through Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division and Saylani Welfare International Trust to undertake establishment of Ehsaas Langars for the poor and destitute laborers and travelers in Pakistan, particularly in the vicinity of hospitals, industrial areas and at railway stations.

SWIT is a prestigious charity feeding organization that has over the years successfully developed its forte in providing cooked food to the needy and destitute across several major cities of Pakistan. With over 60 different sectors, they primarily feed thousands of hungry people each day, hundreds more are given the hope of life through medical health care, many are educated to become leaders of tomorrow and several are given the opportunity to stand on their feet financially.