RAWALPINDI: The Punjab government’s Child Protection Bureau (CPB) has acquired 40 kanals of land for construction of a shelter home for orphans and runaway children in Rawalpindi.
“Impressed by CPB’s performance and good work, a local landlord donated the land situated between Kahuta and Kotli Sathian,” said Rawalpindi Division Commissioner Zahid Saeed.
He said the CPB had been demanding the district government for provision of 10 kanals of land for sometime.
Saeed informed that the children would be kept at the shelter till they reach the age of 18.
“The bureau has signed an agreement with the Punjab Vocational Council that would impart technical skills for 10 years to the children,” he said.
A summer school and vocational centre will be established at the shelter.
When contacted, the landlord requested not to be identified saying he did not want any publicity and donated the land “to please God”.
Punjab government’s Child Protection Chairperson Saba Sadiq who chaired a meeting in this regard on Tuesday said a decision was taken to establish a school and vocational centre at the shelter.
“The school and the centre will have a space to accommodate 1,000 children,” she said.
CPB Managing Director Rao Khalil said a summary for the proposed project would be forwarded to the provincial government.
The existing rented CPB building houses around 250 orphans and runaway children who will be shifted to the newly building once constructed.
Sadiq said that the government had also set up a helpline (1121).
“If someone sees children forced to beg, work at houses or any other kind of exploitation, people should immediately call on the helpline and the CPB teams will reach the spot and ensure protection of the child,” she said.
Sadiq said that a crackdown was planned in Rawalpindi against those forcing children to beg on the streets.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2015.
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