Even though we had not gone back to shikarpur in two weeks the off roaders had kept in mind the SSGC degree college camp witnessed by us while we were on ground there. We contacted Mr Mukesh the pointman of this camp and found that the food situation there was getting desperate. This camp houses about 3000 people in the shape of about 300 registered and a 100 unregistered families at an average of 7-8 people each. Thus we prepared 500 food hampers (5 kg ata, 5 kg flour, 1 litre oil, 2 kg dal, 2 soaps)as well as 500 clothing hampers ( separate suits for male females and children plus shoes) for this school and along with this relief took 1500 additional food hampers and a truck of water Â +15 Â medicine cartons when we set off on mission no 5 on the 3rd of September.
Along the way we experienced two tire shreds, and there is a reason why I am calling these shreds and not punctures. However each time we came to a halt, we were approached by the Highway police within minutes for assistance which was very polite and considerate. They also offered us Iftari but we made do with rotis and piaz/onionsand reached shikarpur around 9:30 pm.
We liaised with the school management and set up our staging area with our relief supplies ready while one team headed to the school to prepare lots of people in datsun vehicles and to bring them along with their SSGC ration cards to our distribution site. Upon arrival at site they were instructed to sit in single file and then we started releasing groups of 5 to the back gate where an offroader would check the registration card send them inside the staging area and another offroader would then recheck the no of people in the family (listed on card) and hand out hampers accordingly. These IDPS then proceeded to exit from the front gate and the process kept on going very smoothly till 330am until all 400 families had received aid.
Having exhausted ourselves fully we slept for the night and woke up at about 9am. We then set out to the civil hospital shikarpur, otherwise also known as district headquarters hospital. The conditions in the wards were overwhelmingly pathetic specially in the pediatric ward where there were about 5 kids to one bed. Most of them were suffering from gastro and chest infections and we started by handing over all the medicine we had brought to the hospital staff. We then decided to and handed over one food hamper per family of patientz as well, as most of them are the same IDPâ€™s we had set out to serve. After we had completed each ward and covered all the families of all the patients we had a meeting with the E.D.O who gave us a list of medicines urgently required. We also distributed packets of flour and rice outside on hospital grounds as well as donated half a truck of aquafina water to this hospital.
At this point we were left with 1000 food hampers which we liaised with the U.N to guide to Sewan where we were told there was desperate need for supplies. The water we had left with us we took to the Hands camp in shikarpur and distributed there. Hands is an NGO we have found and personally visited camps off, which is doing brilliant work in a non obtrusive manner wherever we go.
Having finished with all our supplies we left shikarpur at around 820pm to arrive back in Karachi at 5am the next (sun morning) at sehri time. I think its important for aid convoys to know that there is no danger on the highway at night if you have 4-5 cars/jeeps in your convoy.
Our next target is to better the conditions (hygiene & medcare) of the pediatric ward in the civil hospital Karachi and get them better beds as well as medicine to keep the kids healthy. This will be our first step into the rehabilitation part of our relief work which we feel is apt given the waters are receding and people are starting to go back to their villages. Now they will need help in rebuilding their lives Â and we plan to stand with them.
Pictures for this relief mission are available here
To donate to our cause please visit here or click the paypal widget on the right on this blog.
At this juncture we the Off roaders club has provided rations for more than one week to 32000 ppl in Sukkur Shikarpur & Sewan, ready to eat meals to 25000 people in Thatta & Hyderabad, 280 Â family tents (one tent holds 8 people) and water (1.5 litre) to the tune of 4 truck loads (one truck carrying 1000 cases of 1.5 x 6) bottles. We have also provided more than 20 cartons of medicines and areÂ liaisingÂ with other people on ground for example Hands, Reflections & KRT to get help out to wherever it is needed as quickly as possible. We are assisted in this mission by not only our friends but BEHBUD association Karachi which is maintainingÂ a seperate account for us where donations can be sent to as per link above.
Please note we do not want glory or fame, we are just private citizens of Pakistan who want to help and do it with our own hands.