LAHORE: Walled City of Lahore Authority Executive Director Kamran Lashari inaugurated a branch of Akhuwat Foundation – an Islamic microfinance non-government organisation – on Sunday in Wazir Khan Mosque. This is the organisation’s 500th office in the province.
Lashari said, “I think this initiative will help build a better future for the people [of the Walled City] and their generations ahead.”
Akhuwat Foundation has, so far, provided interest-free small loans to thousands of people. Lashari said that he was sure the loans would help most people in starting new businesses. “I hope this will also help raise their standard of living.”
Zakra Tahir, a representative of Akhuwat Foundation, said the loans were interest free. “We have set up the new office inside the grand Wazir Khan Mosque so that we, and people, can relate to Islamic values and have a surety that all the loans will be interest-free and according to the teachings of Islam.”
Tahir thanked the WCLA for their support in setting up the centre.
Scores of residents of the Walled City were present on the occasion. Many of them said the centre would help them start businesses close to home.
“I am the sole bread winner of my household since my husband passed away three years ago,” Afshan Mehmood, a resident who had received a loan, said. Mehmood said she would use the loan to start a beauty parlour. “This would be convenient because I can manage this at home.” She said it would also make it easier for her to send her children to school.
Muhammad Khalil, another resident, said he was thankful to the Walled City Authority and the Akhuwat Foundation for setting up the office and helping him obtain a loan.
According to the Akhuwat Foundation, the new office will facilitate close to 5,000 residents of Walled City.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2016.
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