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Ehsaas Langar and Panagahs: Free Meals and Shelter for the Needy

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Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Programme

Ehsaas Langar and Panagahs initiatives are crucial components of Pakistan’s Ehsaas program, launched by the Government of Pakistan under Prime Minister Imran Khan. These initiatives are designed to provide free meals and temporary shelter to the most vulnerable and marginalized populations, addressing immediate needs and enhancing social protection for those living in poverty.


The primary objectives of the Ehsaas Langar and Panagahs initiatives are:

  1. Provide Immediate Relief: Ensure that no individual goes hungry and has access to safe and dignified shelter.
  2. Promote Social Welfare: Enhance the well-being of the most disadvantaged populations, including daily wage workers, the homeless, and other marginalized groups.
  3. Support Economic Stability: Alleviate financial burdens on low-income families by providing essential services, allowing them to allocate their limited resources to other critical needs.

Ehsaas Langar Program

1. Free Meal Provision:

  • Langar Sites: Establishes free meal centres (Langars) across urban and rural areas where nutritious meals are served to the needy.
  • Collaboration: Operates in collaboration with charitable organizations, local communities, and private sector partners to expand reach and capacity.

2. Nutritional Standards:

  • Balanced Diet: Ensures that the meals provided meet basic nutritional standards, including a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Hygiene and Safety: Maintains high standards of hygiene and food safety to ensure the well-being of beneficiaries.

3. Accessibility:

  • Location: Strategically places Langar centres in high-need areas, including major urban centres, bus terminals, and industrial zones where daily wage workers are concentrated.
  • Operational Hours: Offers meals at convenient times, often serving both lunch and dinner to accommodate different schedules.

Ehsaas Panagahs Program

1. Temporary Shelter:

  • Shelter Facilities: Establishes temporary shelter homes (Panagahs) that provide safe and dignified accommodation for homeless individuals and families.
  • Basic Amenities: Equipped with basic amenities, including bedding, sanitary facilities, and essential services such as medical care and counselling.

2. Safety and Dignity:

  • Secure Environment: Ensures a safe and secure environment for all residents, with measures in place to protect against abuse and exploitation.
  • Dignity and Respect: Treats all beneficiaries with dignity and respect, fostering a supportive and inclusive atmosphere.

3. Additional Support Services:

  • Healthcare: Provides access to basic healthcare services, including medical check-ups, vaccinations, and treatment for common illnesses.
  • Rehabilitation: Offers rehabilitation and counselling services to support individuals in overcoming addiction, trauma, and other challenges.

Impact and Success Stories

1. Reducing Hunger and Homelessness:

  • Immediate Relief: Provides immediate relief to thousands of individuals daily, reducing hunger and offering a safe place to sleep.
  • Social Stability: Contributes to social stability by addressing the basic needs of the most vulnerable populations.

2. Empowering Individuals:

  • Rehabilitation: Supports the rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals into society, enabling them to become productive members of the community.
  • Success Story:
    • Ali’s New Start:
    • Ali, a daily wage worker who lost his job during the COVID-19 pandemic, found refuge in a Panagah. With access to regular meals and a safe place to sleep, he was able to regain his strength and eventually secure a new job. The support he received through the Ehsaas initiatives was pivotal in helping him rebuild his life.

Challenges and Mitigation Strategies

1. Funding and Resources:

  • Sustainability: Ensuring sustainable funding and resources to maintain and expand the Langar and Panagah services.
  • Mitigation: Seeking partnerships with international donors, private sector companies, and philanthropic organizations to secure additional funding.

2. Operational Efficiency:

  • Logistics: Managing the logistics of food procurement, distribution, and shelter management efficiently.
  • Mitigation: Implementing robust management systems, leveraging technology for inventory tracking and training staff to enhance operational efficiency.

3. Outreach and Awareness:

  • Awareness: Raising awareness among potential beneficiaries about the availability and location of services.
  • Mitigation: Utilizing mass media, social media, and community outreach programs to inform the public and encourage those in need to access services.

Future Directions and Sustainability

1. Expansion Plans:

  • Scaling Up: Plans to scale up the number of Langar and Panagah centres to reach more individuals and cover additional regions, especially underserved rural areas.
  • Innovation: Exploring innovative approaches to improve service delivery, such as mobile Langar vans and modular shelter units.

2. Community Involvement:

  • Volunteer Programs: Encouraging community involvement through volunteer programs to support the operations of Langar and Panagah centres.
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Implementing feedback mechanisms to continuously improve services based on beneficiary input and community needs.

The Ehsaas Langar and Panagahs initiatives play a crucial role in Pakistan’s social protection landscape by providing free meals and shelter to the needy. These programs not only address immediate needs but also contribute to long-term social welfare and economic stability. Through sustained efforts and community engagement, the Ehsaas Langar and Panagahs initiatives are helping to build a more inclusive and compassionate society, ensuring that no one is left behind.

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