Ever since Pakistan launched a full out attack on the Taliban,Â a massive displacement of people fleeing the war zone has taken place. So huge is the throng of families fleeing the affected area that it is tilll now the single largest displacement of people in Pakistan’s history.
Yes, this is more horrible a displacement than in the Bangladesh war, or any other war in Pakistan.Â On ground estimates show a number of 1.48 million people in camps set up by different relief agencies, International donor groups and the government of Pakistan in Mardan, Buner and other areas needing immediate relief. This number is growing every single day as people are pouring out of the war affected areas any chance they can get, leaving behind everything that is theirs, some even forgetting to lock or bolt their homes as they flee for their lives.
Living under the open sky sometimes and sometimes in tents these poor souls have to depend on relief goods and aid to get through their day to day existence which is being gathered in all parts of the country, however nowhere is the relief effort more powerful or more emotional than in Karachi, which is known not only for its azure shores but for the generosity of the philanthropists who live here. We have seen this city taking the lead when the earthquake of Oct 2007 happened, when PAF C130s ran out of space at the PAf base on karsaz with the amount of goods people donated for the victims of the quake from Karachi. Now again the city is alive with the spirit of donation, everywhere you go you can see organizations collecting goods and medicines for our brothers and sisters in swat.
I thought I would do a series of posts recognizing not only the collective effort which makes my heart swell with pride in this city but chronicling to the best of my ability what is being done and by whom.
The first organization I have contacted for this is the Khidmat E Khalq foundation(KKF), the charitable wing of MQM which has been seen in full force throughout this city going from shop to shop in the shape of celebrities asking for aid, to donations from party funds as well as relief drop off camps set up all over the city. Two days ago I stood on tariq road and heard Amjad Sabri singing “Bhar de joli” from a truck as people ran to give him 5 Rs, sometimes 50, sometimes 10 and whatever they could to help the people of Swat. I saw an Umar sharif one of our best comedians cry tears as he appealed to the shop keepers by name to come out and open their hearts and boy did they come.Â Never before have I seen such spirit on this road damned by commercialism, never have I seen not only shop keepers but thela wallas giving anything they could just to keep someones stove burning in those camps in Swat.
Till date the KKF has collected around 3 carore 75 lakh Rs (half a million dollars)Â worth of goods for the relief effort in Swat.Â Five truckloads of goods were dispatched just yesterday on a C 130 from PAF base on shahrae Faisal. How do i know this? Well because I ask rather than judge and below are the 4 documents outlining what has been donated (itemized lists) as well as some photographs of the relief activities going on in Karachi organized by KKF. Suffice to say this Karachiite is full of emotion and gratitude for the people of this city and organizations like KKF without which none of this would have been possible.Â Tum sab ko sallam hay!!!
Celebrities gathering donations shop to shop with KKF for Swat @ Tariq Road
Khidmat E Khalq foundation relief camps all over Karachi, 14th May
Trucks being loaded onto C 130 @ PAF base yesterday, 19th May 2009
Next to come in this series will be a post covering the activities of the bloggers of Karachi and from all over Pakistan as they digitize the relief effort with the latest tech tools in their own special way, so keep the browser here folks & don’t hate but participate, Pakistan Zindabad!
Khidmat E Khalq foundation & PRAC for providing the data and the pictures