MANY programmes were launched for the underprivileged in the past. Some of them succeeded too. The reason behind their success was a rational approach.
One of such programmes by the present government is Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).
It is aimed at helping poor women only. Undoubtedly, through this programme, Rs1,000 a month was being distributed to deserving families through the Pakistan Post and ATM cards.
Unfortunately, the BISP authorities have now switched over to ATM cards and ignored the role of the Pakistan Post.
It is very difficult for these poor and old women to use ATMs as it needs technical know-how and literacy to operate these machines. Not only this, these women also come from far-flung areas to draw their money from ATMs. It costs them Rs200 to Rs300. This is huge amount as compared to Rs1,000 given to them.
A long number of queues are also seen outside the banks where these poor women wait for long hours for their turn. Sometimes they return to their homes empty-handed owing to feeding wrong password.
Earlier, the Pakistan Post used to hand over money to deserving women at their doorstep. On the one hand, women used to get it in a dignified manner and, on the other hand, it saved them from long queues that we witness nowadays.
It was because the Pakistan Post had the largest network in the country.
It is, therefore, necessary that these poor women should be served with honour and grace so that their dignity is maintained at all levels. It is hoped that sanity will prevail and the old system of feeding the poor through the Pakistan Post will be restored.
Additionally, this will give a boost to the dying postal service of Pakistan.
DR KULSOM SOOMRO Nawabshah