The Prime Minister expressed his views during the official opening ceremony of the Ehsaas Scholarship Program in Islamabad. He said that:
Pakistan’s greatest asset is the country’s youth, adding that we can only be benefited from them through empowerment.
Imran also presented grants to selected students during the ceremony. The scholarships will be awarded to a total of more than 200,000 students in country over a period of four years.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, this program is a historic change in government scholarship policy, as in the past it was distributed to students who purse higher studies. Half of the program beneficiaries are girls from low-income groups, while 2 percent of the scholarships were reserved for students with special needs.
At the beginning of today’s ceremony, the Prime Minister said that: “How can you identify a civiliized society? The identity of a civiliized society is not determined by how the rich live, it is determined by how the poor live. This is what draws a distinction between a humane society and one that is animaliistic.”
PM Imran Khan said by citing an example form the life of The Holy Prophet (PBUH) that: “This is what happened in Madina. The state took responsibility for the poor, even though it was weak. They had no means, and no money but they had Ehsaas. They understood the importance of empowering the poor.”
He said: “When the Battle of Badr took place, according to the customs at the time, war prisoners would be released for ransom. But the state decided that the prisoners would be released if they taught at least 10 people how to read and write.”
You have to understand how forward thinking this approach was. This was the reason that for the next few centuries, the world's top scientists were Muslims.
He added the words to his speech saying: “A small portion of our society receives proper education, and has access to facilities. Meanwhile, there is a separate education system for the common man which does not allow them to move forward in life. This progrramme is just a step towards achieving the goals, it is specifically for those students who don’t have the means for higher education.”
“You will see an increase in the number of scholarships as well as in the funds for the Higher Education Commission when the country’s financial situation improves,” the prime minister vowed.
“Our country has been blessed with a multitude of things, but our biggest asset is the country’s youth. However, we will only be able to reap the benefits of the youth by educating them, and uplifting them.”
It is reported that 50,000 scholarships will be awarded annually to students from 119 national universities including Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. A total of 200,000 students will get benefit from this program.