KARACHI, July 15: Sindh High Court Chief Justice Mushir Alam has stressed the need for establishing more shelter homes on the pattern of those set up by Panah in the province so that distressed women seeking shelter could be provided safe abodes in an emergency situation till they could make some alternative arrangement.

He was speaking at a certificate distribution ceremony organised on Saturday by the Panah Trust Shelter Home, where he also distributed certificates among 10 inmates who had completed a two-month beautician’s course.

Calling for hectic efforts towards providing free legal aid to the deserving people, particularly women, the CJ said that although some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were doing their best, a lot more was needed to be done.

He said that he was planning to hold a roundtable conference for NGOs so that more organisations could be motivated and encouraged to work more efficiently.

He said that he was trying to arrange funds so that such organisations could be assisted financially under the social action programme.

He paid tributes to former judges of the superior judiciary retired justices Nasir Aslam Zahid and Ajmal Mian, who he said were doing a lot for the distressed people by providing free legal aid/social welfare services, etc.

He urged young judicial officials to look up to them and see what, if one wanted, one could do after retirement for the deserving people.

He said that he also wanted to arrange/get some funds so that drug addicts could be properly treated and young scavenging children could be properly taken care of and educated so that they become good citizens.

Earlier, Panah Trust chairperson retired justice Majida Rizvi said that Panah was registered in April 2001 and started its activities in the premises of Ida Rieu Complex at Old Numaish with initial funding from local NGOs, philanthropists as well as the Amnesty International.

In 2008, she said, it acquired the current premises of the then Darul Aman — a government-run shelter home for women — from the city government. The building was in a dilapidated condition and over Rs10 million was spent on its refurbishing, restoration and it started functioning here in January 2009.

She said that over the years Panah had been a temporary home to over 2,000 battered and distressed women and children seeking solace to regain their mental peace, hope and self confidence.

Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Nadeem Akhtar and Justice Hassan Azher Rizvi of the SHC, district and sessions judges, civil judges and others also attended the programme.

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