GILGIT: (PR) The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) Gilgit-Baltistan has reached out to over 400 beneficiaries with prepaid mobile and internet cards aiming at to provide assistance to those who could not have access to the market or unable to get connected with their families amid Covid-19 and consequent lockdown.
“We have introduced a unique mode of relief by providing prepaid mobile cards because communication barriers can cause mental health problems to the human’s lives during emergencies as like Covid-19” said the PRCS Gilgit-Baltistan’s Chairman Tariq Hussain Shah.
He said that the Pakistan Red Crescent Gilgit-Baltistan with support of its movement partners has been proactively involved to provide assistance to the vulnerable communities with a series of activities since the first day of the Coronavirus emergency across the region.
The activities were included conducting awareness sessions regarding Coronavirus prevention and control, providing food packages to the daily wagers, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to the frontline healthcare workers, hygiene kits to the people in isolations and quarantines and provision of mobile communication cards to a multi-stakeholder beneficiaries amid Covid-19.
“PRCS prepaid mobile cards donation was really its kind of unique relief that made me able to get connected to my family” said Nazir Hussain a resident of Gilgit-Baltistan’s Kharmang district. He said that his family is living in a remote village of Kharmang near Pak-Indian border while he himself is in the regional capital Gilgit for the sake of winning bread and butter to his family as daily-waged worker.
Nazir was incidentally found to a PRCS staff member in a mobile essay load shop in Gilgit city requesting the shopkeeper to load a mobile balance of PKR: 20 at his number but the shopkeeper was refusing to do it saying a not enough amount to charge for load.
The PRCS staff member Israr Ali took him out of the shop and put a prepaid mobile card of PKR: 500 to his hand explaining that this assistance is being provided to him by the Pakistan Red Crescent Society without any gain in return. The assistance was quite surprising for the poor man who couldn’t able to talk to his family far because of having insufficient balance in his mobile account owing to unviability of labouring to do amid lockdown in the city.
The PRCS staff member took him to his office along with provided him a food package and other essential items and drop back at his residence in his personal vehicle where he thanked the PRCS for resolving his problems.
“The PRCS GB has reached out to over 400 beneficiaries with prepaid mobile and internet communication cards and most of them were in dire need of credit as like Nazir to get connected with their dear and near once in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown” said PRCS GB Restoring Family Links (RFL) Manager Arif Hussain.
He said that the prepaid mobile cards assistance was one of the pilot projects under the joint Pakistan Red Crescent (PRCS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Restoring Family Links (RFL) Program that was launched first ever in the Gilgit-Baltistan region to examine how it would be helpful to overcome the issues faced by the vulnerable communities amid Covid-19.
“Our primary beneficiaries for this program were mostly those who are unable to get access to the markets to recharge their mobile or internet accounts that included the persons with disabilities, people in isolations and quarantines, ultra-poor segments, journalists and university students who have online classes” Arif added.
He said that the prepaid mobile cards assistance remained an impactful project for both the donors and beneficiaries as it requires no heavy transportation and logistics expenditure and ensures transparency; protect self-respect and human dignity of the beneficiaries similar to the Cash Transfer Programing initiative.