Ehsaas has opened 8171 SMS campaign here on Tuesday to enable the new deserving households to check their eligibility under Ehsaas Kafaalat programme. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Sania Nishtar said that the deserving families desiring to find out their eligibility status in the Kafaalat programme should send their Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) numbers on the SMS code 8171, which is activated from today. “The 8171 SMS service has been made free of charge for the public and the entire cost will be borne by Ehsaas”, Dr Nishtar added. “Ehsaas has begun the process of enrolling new beneficiaries, which have been identified on the basis of the 2021 Ehsaas survey which is now 81% complete”, she said. Beneficiaries identified through the survey undergo “wealth profiling” through a data analytics mechanism to further clean the list of beneficiaries. When beneficiaries send their 13-digital CNIC number on 8171, they will either get a message that they are eligible and will be asked to collect money; or they will be informed that they are ineligible, or they will get a “wait” instruction. Those in the third category will be analyzed and will get a final message about their eligibility by June this year. The process of the survey will continue till June 2021. Since the survey is 80% complete and 20% of the population is not in the database yet, if/when they send SMS to ascertain their status, they will be told to wait till they are surveyed. Ehsaas has set up over 1600 payment camps throughout the country, starting this week. Each beneficiary is being paid Rs12,000 covering the period January 2021 -June 2021. Combined payment for 6 months is being made. People are collecting cash from especially set up payment camps. Payments are being made in camps so that COVID-19 SOPS can be followed there. In addition, payments can also be collected from biometrically enabled ATMs of Habib Bank in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Islamabad, and from those of Bank Al-Falah in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. Panahgahs: Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Shelter Homes Naseem ur Rehman has said that around 100 Panahgahs were providing homelike dine and sleep environment to thousands of daily wage earners and shelterless destitute daily in a dignified manner. Talking to APP, he said more than 70 percent of the total shelter homes were fully operational and providing ideal services to the shelterless people across the country, whereas rest of the facilities were in various stages of service delivery. In addition to Panahgahs, the focal person said a large number of Langar Khanas (food centers) were serving nutritious and hygienic food to the poor and daily wage earners. He also mentioned the newly launched ‘Koi-Bhuka-Na-Soye’ programme of Prime Minister Imran Khan, providing cooked meal twice a day to the poor and labourers in different cities. To a query, Naseem said Rs 300 was being spent on each dweller of the Panahgah every day, helping the poor people, especially migrant workers to save Rs 6,000 per month that obviously provided him an opportunity to directly spend the hard earned money on his family welfare. Citing the example of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad’s ‘Panahgahs’, he said 600 people were getting food and shelter at each shelter home, which manifested Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of transforming the country into Madina-like state where all the citizens irrespective of their caste, religion, race and social status were treated equally. He said once there was starvation, and helpless people were forced to sleep on pavements and in public parks. “Now I can say, in the long run, this Panagahs project will prove a remarkable initiative to alleviate poverty in an effective manner,” he maintained. Explaining the policy to ensure sustainability of the programme, Naseem said it was providing an organized and strategic approach to the ‘giving’. It also makes the ‘giving’ a dignified process by keeping in mind respect and dignity of the receiver, he added.