PRCS GB provides prepaid mobile & internet cards to over 400 beneficiaries
Gilgit (TP) June 27, 2020: The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) Gilgit-Baltistan has reached out to over 400 beneficiaries by proving prepaid mobile and internet cards aim to provide assistance to those having no direct access to the market or fail to get connected with their families owing to the Covid-19 lockdown.
“We have introduced a unique mode of relief by providing prepaid mobile cards because communication barriers can cause mental health problems during emergencies as like the Covid-19,” said PRCS Gilgit-Baltistan Chairman Tariq Hussain Shah. He said that the PRCS Gilgit-Baltistan with the support of its partners has been proactively involved to provide assistance to the vulnerable communities with a series of activities since the first day of the coronavirus pandemic across the region.
“These activities include conducting awareness sessions regarding the coronavirus prevention and control, providing food packages to daily wagers and personal protective equipment (PPEs) to the frontline healthcare workers, hygiene kits to the people in isolation and quarantine and the provision of mobile communication cards to multi-stakeholder beneficiaries to cope with the Covid-19 phenomena,” he said.
“The PRCS prepaid mobile cards donation is really it’s kind of a unique relief programme that makes 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 the Pak-Indian border while he himself is in the regional capital Gilgit as a breadwinner of his family while working as a daily-wager.
APRCS staff member came across Nazir at a mobile essay-load shop in Gilgit city, while requesting the shopkeeper to load a mobile balance of Rs20 on his number but the shopkeeper was refusing to do it saying he could afford to charge such a meagre sum. PRCS staff member Israr Ali took him out of the shop and gave a prepaid mobile card worth Rs500 explaining that this assistance is being provided to him by the PRCs without any gain in return. The assistance was quite surprising for the poor man who was unable to talk to his family because of having insufficient balance in his mobile account as he had not earned for long due to the closure of the labour market during the lockdown in the city.
The PRCS staff member also took him to his office and provided him with a food package and other essential items and dropped him back at his residence.
“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 to their dear and near ones 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 joint pilot projects of the PRCS and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Restoring Family Links (RFL) Programme that has been launched in the Gilgit-Baltistan region to examine how it would be helpful to overcome the issues faced by the vulnerable communities during the Covid-19.
“Our primary beneficiaries of this programme are mostly those who are unable to get access to the market to recharge their mobile or internet accounts that included persons with disabilities, people in isolations and quarantines, ultra-poor segments, journalists and university students who are taking 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 programme initiative.