Law, Education and Youth Affairs Minister Rana Mashood said on Monday the provincial government had formed a volunteer force to help gather donations for the internally displaced people (IDPs) of North Waziristan.
“The Shahbaz Sharif Volunteer Force has been formed in educational institutions of the province for accelerating the assistance and rehabilitation of the IDPs,” Mashood said.
He was chairing a meeting of the nine boards of intermediate and secondary education of the province. The meeting was held at the Lahore Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education building.
The minister discussed the steps being taken by the government to collect funds for the IDPs.
“Shahbaz Sharif Volunteer Force for IDPs will have the task of going to homes to collect funds. It will be the largest volunteer force of its kind in the world,” the minister said.
He said several sporting events would be held as charity events for helping the displaced people.
Mashood said all the staff members of educational institutes were donating their one day’s salary for the IDPs fund. The minister said the educational institutes had been directed to help the government in gathering donations for the displaced people.
He also asked the board chairmen to assist the government’s fund collection efforts.
Separately, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hamza Shahbaz said the government had launched a new fundraising campaign to help the IDPs.
He was chairing a meeting of the Chief Minister’s Committee for IDPs at Model Town on Monday.
He said university and college students would play the main role in the fundraising campaign.
“The 4.8 million male and female students who took part in the Punjab Youth Festival have now been included in the fundraising campaign. This youth force will help us gather more funds for helping the IDPs,” the PML-N leader said. “Traders, industrialists, farmers, teachers, government employees and overseas Pakistanis, have joined this campaign,” Hamza said. He said fundraising committees had also been activated at local level.
He said short-term and medium-term plans were being formed to expedite the rehabilitation of IDPs.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2014.