The President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain launched the book “Stories of BISP’ today at BISP Secretariat in the presence of Minister of State and Chairperson BISP MNA, Marvi Memon, Minister of State for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony, Pir Muhammad Aminul Hasnat Shah, Secretary BISP Yasmin Masood, parliamentarians, dignitaries, media, BISP beneficiaries and BISP officials.

Speaking at the launch, the President said that the success of BISP has been recognized globally and this book on the lives of its beneficiaries would reinforce the recognition, as these stories of women from 146 districts of Pakistan highlight that women empowerment revolution through Pakistan’s largest social safety net has given dignity and livelihood to women all across Pakistan.

The book “Stories of BISP” brings the real stories of BISP beneficiaries in eighteen different languages to the world. It is Pakistan’s first multilingual book  published in Urdu, Balochi, Pashtu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Kashmiri, Balti, Shina, Broshuski, Seraiki, Hindko, Gojri, Brahvi, Khetrani, Khawar, Potohari, Chitrali and English . The book reflects the incredible impact of BISP stipends on the improvement of lives of the ultra poor women/families. Besides translation in English and Urdu, the book has an audio version as well.

BISP Patron-In-Chief, President Mamnoon Hussain commended the BISP management for this marvelous achievement. He said that the book reflects the feelings and experiences of the women beneficiaries towards the path of self-confidence, self reliance and empowerment with the cooperation of BISP. As these stories are a source of encouragement and inspiration for women, so there is strong need to employ other channels of communication like theatre to further enhance the impact and effectiveness of the biographic stories.

In her opening remarks, Chairperson BISP said BISP commissioned this great work of art to collect stories of BISP beneficiaries, one from each district through local writers so that the depth of the region is captured in the mother tongue for better understanding of the BISP impact on the lives of the ultra poor. The book would contribute immensely towards the promotion of regional languages and inter-provincial harmony as for the first time in the history of Pakistan; BISP has brought eighteen different languages together in a book. She further added that the book has an audio version as well, so that messages of our ultra poor families hit hearts and minds both, creating empathy and would become the basis of BISP campaign “Ehsaas”.

The success stories of Akber Bibi from Haveli (AJK), Bano from Astore (Gilgit Baltistan), Sharmati Nandani from Jacobabad (Sindh), Jan Bibi from Kohlu (Balochistan), Sumaira Bibi from Rawalpindi (Punjab) and Mughafira from Nowshera (KPK) were showcased at the launch ceremony. The excerpts of the book are accessible on http://bisp.gov.pk/stories-of-bisp/ and the book will be soon available in the market.

The beneficiaries present on the occasion expressed deep gratitude to BISP management for their support and thanked the incumbent government for increasing the amount of BISP stipend. While narrating her life story, Akber Bibi said that BISP brought a positive change in her life as she got her identity card, learnt stitching under Waseela-e-Rozgar and through Waseela-e-Taleem initiative of BISP enrolled her children in schools.

Bano, a disabled woman from Astore appreciated BISP for the financial assistance and said that she was able to feed her family twice a day because of BISP.

Jan Bibi from Kohlu explained her struggle and said BISP gave a new meaning to her life as with the help of BISP cash stipend, she purchased a sewing machine and now is able to help her husband in making both ends meet.

Sharmati Nandani , a resident of Jacobabad narrated that cash assistance from BISP came as a relief  in difficult times of her life. Firstly, she used the quarterly stipend to pay off her loans and then started her business of selling snacks with the savings from the cash grant.

Sumaira Bibi, who sells flowers, said that BISP is fragrance of her life. Her household conditions were miserable and then she started getting stipend from BISP. With this money she purchased raw material for her flower making business and now is able to fulfill the basic needs of her family.

Mughafira Bibi, a courageous woman from Nowshera said that programmes like BISP should be broadened as they not only provide support to the poorest and the deprived but add dignity to their life as well.  BISP has raised her status within her household and she feels empowered as a BISP beneficiary.