Amidst the economic crisis and socio-political issues, Ehsaas Program is a ray of hope for Pakistani people. The ex-government of Pakistan invested heavily in the prosperity and relief of citizens and that’s why they launched this program to help marginalized and poor families. This program is the biggest one in the history of Pakistan which was launched solely to bring positive and productive changes in the lives of people.
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Under the umbrella of the Ehsas program, about 134 programs and policies reside which consist of a number of reforms. To implement these reforms, around 34 agencies and government federal units are tasked. The planning period for this program was of around 45 days in which more than 359 experts were consulted. Some of the most popular programs which are successfully being implemented under the great Ehsaas Program are as follows;
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Ehsaas Rashan Program
The Ehsas Rashan Program was launched back in the government of ex-prime minister Imran Khan which aimed to provide significant subsidies on kitchen essentials to poor and marginalized families. Even though this Rashan program has been started in various districts of Pakistan, it’s mainly in Punjab districts where it’s being implemented to its full strength.
To provide relief on groceries like wheat flour, sugar, cooking oil, and pulses, the government of Punjab has provided a subsidy of around 100 billion Pakistani Rupees which would be enough to feed more than 80 Lac families in the province. On getting registered under this Ehsas Rashan program, consumers will receive a Rashan card from the government with which they’ll be able to get basic edibles at a 30-40% discounted rate.
In addition to this, poor families also receive a cash value of around 2000-4500 PKR (according to their city) which will enable them to buy things that are not covered under the Rashan program subsidy. On the other hand, shopkeepers who are registered in this Rashan program will also get a subsidy of around 8% on all the items they purchase along with huge prizes for excellent performance.
Eligible people for the ehsas Rashan program are families whose monthly income is below 31,000 PKR. Also, only one person in the family will be able to get subsidies on groceries from the designated stores. The person who is registered on behalf of the entire family should have a valid CNIC and a mobile SIM which is registered on the CNIC number and his own name.
In the last Ramadan, the government of Pakistan halted the Rashan program and started the distribution of free wheat flour among people following the terrible wheat shortage in the country. According to this flour distribution reform, people who are eligible for the ehsas Rashan program will receive three bags of 10kg wheat flour whereas those who are not eligible for the Rashan program will receive one bag of 10kg flour. However, after the conclusion of Ramadan and Eid, the government decided to restart the original Rashan program.
Ehsas kafalat program
The Ehsaas Kafaalat Program was formed to help needy families who are suffering from poverty, inflation, and unemployment. On getting registered to this program, every family will get a cash value of 3000 PKR from the government of Pakistan as their monthly grant. Usually, the funds of three months (12000 PKR) are transferred altogether into the accounts of deserving people which will be very helpful to pay for bread and butter and utility bills.
This social protection program was launched during the days of the pandemic to provide financial support to households with no income sources and small businesses. Besides a monthly grant, small businesses and ineligible families can also get financial loans with a 6% interest rate. The maximum loan amount is 200,000 PKR whereas the maximum repayment period is five years.
The eligibility criteria for the ehsas kafala program include having a valid CNIC and proof of getting affected by COVID-19. Similarly, if you are a small business owner, you must show proof of your business with a maximum annual turnover of around $62,000 and less than fifty employees. Considering this, documents you’d need to submit while applying for the ehsas kafalat program includes proof of identity, proof of small business ownership, proof of income, etc.
On the other hand, government employees and their wives, car owners, taxpayers, and people who have a long history of international traveling are not eligible for the ehsas kafalat program. Likewise, only one person in the couple (husband or wife) will be eligible for ehsas kafalat program.
Recently, some reforms have been introduced into the ehsaas kafalat program 2023 according to which, women who are the only earners of their family can receive a four-month grant of around PKR 16000 along with PKR 2000 under Sasta Petrol, Sasta Diesel scheme.
Ehsas undergraduate scholarship
The government of Pakistan understands that the social welfare of the population and economic growth depends upon the literacy rate of a country and that’s why, it launched this ehsas undergraduate scholarship program. According to this program, around 50,000 scholarships per annum and 200,000 scholarships will be granted to undergraduate students in four years.
In the program, about 50% quota is reserved for female students whereas students from underprivileged areas and special disabilities are given preference. The scholarship will cover the full tuition fee of the undergraduate degree program and students will also get a monthly stipend of PKR 4000.
To be eligible for this ehsas undergraduate scholarship program, a student must belong from a deserving, low-income family. Also, only the students who are currently enrolled in affiliated public universities are eligible to apply. However, those students should have taken the admissions in the public university on a merit basis.
On the other hand, students from private universities or distant learning programs are not eligible for ehsas undergraduate scholarships. Likewise, students who got admission to a public university through self-support or self-finance programs are also not eligible. And if a student is already receiving grants from another scholarship, he is not eligible to apply.
To apply for the ehsas undergraduate scholarship, students must show their monthly income certificate. The newcomers should have at least 70% marks in intermediate whereas the deserving university students should have a minimum CGPA of 3.2 to apply for the scholarship.
Ehsaas Amdan Program
The purpose of the Ehsas Amdan Program was to empower women from poor or low-income families so they can achieve sustainable development goals with the least hassle. In these programs, women are provided with small loans, cash transfers, and income support so they can get on track and earn their daily bread and butter.
To uplift women’s skills, special teams are composed. However, if there’s no sustainable skill for a woman, the government may provide her with assets like auto rickshaws, buffalos, and goats so they can open small retail outlets. For example, if authorities hand over a buffalo to you, you can sell its milk to earn some money.
Another thing that’s important to mention here is that this ehsas Amdan Program is not only for women since 30% of beneficiaries are young men. Likewise, a quota of 10% is reserved for children and people with disabilities.
Ehsas Langar scheme was launched in October 2019 with the tagline of koi bhooka na soye. The aim of this scheme is to provide food to those who can afford to get it on a daily basis due to poverty. In this way, the government of Pakistan targets to reduce hunger and poverty in the country. This hunger relief package was launched by the PTI government and was crafted especially for the poorest part of this society including laborers and daily wagers.
Following the implementation plan, the very first langar khana was opened on October 7, 2019, in Faizabad. Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan attended the inauguration ceremony himself, sat down with the poor people, ate distributed food, and approved its quality. On that day, around 600-800 hungry people fed from the Langar khana which depicts the high need and success of the project.
After this, the government decided to open around 1200 Langar khanas all around the country to make tough economic crises bearable and more sustainable for poor people. Unlike other ehsas programs, there are no set eligibility criteria or registration process for this program as anyone can eat from the Langar Khana by visiting there. Sometimes people are asked to show proof of their identities but it is done solely for security purposes.
Besides laborers and daily wagers, caretakers of patients, homeless people, and every poor person are eligible to eat meals free from Langar khana. Depending upon the resources available and the location, nourishing food is distributed in the Langar khana which generally includes Rice, flour bread, vegetables, lentils, and even meat.
Lunch is served between 12-2 Pm whereas dinner is served around 6-8 pm. However, since the food is reserved and distributed 24 hours a day, you can eat a meal from the langar khana anytime.
Programs Under the Umbrella of Ehsaas Program