Floods and relief efforts
by Dr Javaid Laghari
I would also like to credit MQM efforts in Karachi that they too have contributed a lot to collect goods and sent them to upper Sindh. The bunds at Hyderabad owe a lot to the efforts of over 1000 of their workers (of course in addition to the large sindhi population, which goes without saying) to strengthen them despite over 900,000 cusecs flowing since last 2 days.
The recent floods have been the worst natural catastrophe to hit Pakistan in recent history. It is estimated that over 1500 have lost their lives, with over 20 million directly affected by the floods. Millions of acres of agriculture land, livestock and cattle, roads, bridges, property, and personal goods have been lost or destroyed. The loss is estimated to be in the billions of dollars.
The response of the community in Sindh has been overwhelming. People from all walks of life, students, housewives, NGOs, civic societies, political activists, etc etc have all contributed towards the relief efforts. Just to give you some examples from Karachi, visiting the Indus Valley School of Architecture in Clifton, with an elitist urban crowd, I found that even at midnight, there were over 100 students working round the clock packing away bags and loading them onto a truck. There was a truck leaving every morning to places such as Shikarpur, Jacobabad, etc. I found the same spirit at all other higher educational institutions I visited in Karachi.
My son at Karachi Grammar School joined another group of die hard friends (another elitist crowd) in his school and were rolling out yet another truck a day. And these were all 15-17 year olds kids.
My wife joined another large group of families from Karachi (all languages, all divides, typical Karachiites), each first contributing over Rs 1 lac each, and then each collecting goods door to door from all defence and clifton localities, rolling out a truck a day to upper sindh. My other son with his other Karachi friends spent a week in upper sindh at the receiving end of these trucks. The groups then interchanged, including the families (I recall one of my wife’s friend from a well off Khatri family calling from her cell from Sukkur telling her she is standing in knee deep water rescuing children and urgently wanting the next truckload to be of medicine for children for water borne disease).
I am sure there are hundered such individual efforts being carried out in every city of Pakistan which were not effected by the floods. I would also like to credit MQM efforts (despite what is written in some postings) in Karachi that they too have contributed a lot to collect goods and sent them to upper Sindh. The bunds at Hyderabad owe a lot to the efforts of over 1000 of their workers (of course in addition to the large sindhi population, which goes without saying) to strengthen them despite over 900,000 cusecs flowing since last 2 days.
The floods have brought the nations together. Lets hope it keeps them this way.
Courtesy: — SANAlist, August 24, 2010
Read more about Flood in Sindh >> BBC urdu