ISLAMABAD (Dec 17, 2018) — Over 5,000 homeless people have benefited from makeshift shelter homes set up by the provincial government of Punjab in its capital Lahore.
The provincial capital is a city of over 11 million individuals, including approximately 200,000 homeless people, who have to spend their nights on footpaths, greenbelts and parks – even in the harshest of weather conditions. Thousands of laborers, who visit the metropolis from adjoining districts to explore employment opportunities, have to spend their nights under open skies if they are unable to finding suitable work.
A laborer from a village near Chishtian, Muhammad Ashiq, said he had been working as a loader and spent the night under flyovers or markets corridors. Now these tents (shelter homes) have made our lives easy in this winter.”
The district administration has set up five shelter homes near public transport terminals.
Deputy Commissioner Saliha Saeed released the data of shelter homes resident on Monday. It indicated that over 5,000 homeless and passengers have spent their nights in makeshift shelters since November 22.
Saeed highlighted that the homes provided shelter for around 230 citizens on weekdays and nearly 300 people on the weekend. Meanwhile, the construction of permanent shelter homes was also in full swing. She underscored that generally, people were happy with the services being offered to them. The DC added the Punjab Social Welfare Department, Civil Defense and Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) had been deployed to ensure a homely environment at these shelter homes.
In order to deal with change in weather conditions, she pointed out that the district administration had also made alternate arrangements. Officials were also visiting these shelter homes to inspect arrangements and quality of food and breakfast being offered to the residents.
The deputy commissioner said that medical staff had also been deployed to provide checkup facilities to the residents. Doctors will remain available at shelter homes between 6pm and 9pm.
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said people living in “Panahgah” will be provided free of charge treatment facilities.
He was presiding over a meeting on the Panahgah project at his office on Monday.
The chief minister said in view the utility of this project, shelter houses will also be established in other districts of the province in collaboration with philanthropists.