Espousing the cause of the needy


Indeed, the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal since its inception in 1991 has been espousing the cause of the destitute, widows, orphans and the needy, and continues to strive to provide for their sustenance and survival through its poor-centered initiatives to mitigate their sufferings and transform them into what can be considered an enviable asset for the society and the state.
This is evident from the latest pilot project the welfare body has planned to facilitate receiving of education for the orphan children, who are accommodated its various shelter homes and orphanages spread across the country, up to the graduation level.
According to a report published on these pages, the Pakistan Baitul-ul-Mal is presently operating 51 Sweet Homes or orphanages, which are catering the needs of 4355 orphans in terms of their accommodation, education and well-being by adopting a modern welfare approach to impart vocational and technical skills to the widows and the orphans to enable them to earn their livelihood in an honorable way.
The report based on an interview of the PBM chief, Amir Fida Paracha, states that the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal has also planned to establish a technical school alongside each Sweet Home, where those children who lack the tendency to get education, could be equipped with vocational skills so that they are able to earn for themselves and their families.
The break the vicious cycle of poverty and root out child labor from the society, the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal has been successfully running as many as 159 schools for the rehabilitation of children previously employed as child labor. The objective of the initiative, as of all other welfare steps, is to withdraw children from their workplaces and impart them education through non-formal means of education. The children retrieved from child labor are later brought into the mainstream education by admitting them to the government-run schools through a financial grant provided by the PBM.
As revealed by the PBM chief, its orphans and widow support program is a conditional cash transfer intervention, which is basically designed to provide financial assistance to the widows with a focus on orphans, especially girls’ education. Under this program, the PBM provides Rs 8000 per month and Rs 16,000 per month to families having one child and more than one child, respectively, upon meeting school attendance criteria.
Another commendable initiative taken by the PBM is the establishment and the expansion of women empowerment centers. According to the PBM chief, around 163 such centers have been operating across the country, where widows, orphans and poor girls are imparted vocational skills in trades like dress designing, embroidery, basic and advance computer courses, fabric painting. As a further incentive, the student is also entitled to get a stipend for receiving the vocational skills.
It is hoped that the idea of expanding the scope of the women empowerment centers, earlier established at the district level, to the tehsil level would go a long way in alleviating poverty and unemployment.