MITHI: All centres opened in different towns of Tharparkar district in July this year to issue Sehat Insaf Cards to families for their proper healthcare have abruptly been closed apparently due to financial constraints.
The enthusiastic scheme was launched by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government after Prime Minister Imran Khan made an announcement to extend this public welfare facility to the district during his visit to Chhachhro town on March 8.
It was learnt on Friday that the task was undertaken by a local non-governmental organisation (NGO), which opened its centres in Mithi, Islamkot, Nagarparkar, Diplo and other towns to issue Sehat Insaf Cards to needy Thari families. The funds to run the centres were supposed to be provided through State Life Insurance Corporation (SLIC).
Many of the NGO’s employees, including Akram Dars, Bheem Rathore and Mahesh Kumar, speaking to this reporter said that they had recently been told to shut down the centres. Some of them claimed that as many as 45 employees of the NGO had not been receiving their salaries for four months ie since the establishment of the centres.
The NGO’s programme manager confirmed that the organisation was left with no other option but to close down the centres when it failed to received the required funds until a few weeks back.
They said they had to comply with the order to shut down the centres as the executives of the NGO expressed their inability to pay their salaries citing non-release of funds by the SLIC.
He said that 157,460 out of the 275,000 entitled Thari families were issued the cards. He recalled that Prime Minister Imran Khan had made the announcement regarding extension of the scheme in Tharparkar while addressing a public meeting of PTI in Chhachhro town on March 8.
The employees who have been rendered redundant, as well as some of the families yet to be provided the healthcare facility, speaking to this reporter appealed to the authorities concerned to revive the scheme, saying that they had been left in the lurch. The expressed their hope that the PTI government would take serious notice of the situation in order to avoid the abrupt and unpleasant shelving of the scheme.
‘Granite extraction stopped’
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Krishna Kolhi on Friday claimed that extraction of granite from Karoonjhar hills had effectively been stopped.
Speaking to this reporter, she said she recently visited the hills in Nagarparkar after a series of protests were held by local people against destruction of granite deposits by certain contractors and unauthorised elements.
“Nobody could be allowed to undermine the natural beauty and treasure of the Parkar region,” she said, adding that she inspected the particular sites where granite extraction had been going on until a few days back. She said she asked residents of the area to immediately alert the officials concerned upon spotting anyone involved in the illegal practice.
Senator Kolhi said that all leases granted to extract granite in the area had been cancelled a few years ago.
She said that granite extraction had come to a halt after Sindh government moved into action and ordered registration of FIR against those indulging in the unlawful practice.
Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2019