I was just starting my working career in my tweens when I was given the privilege to embark on my first solo official trip abroad. It was a three-month stay for a short course jointly offered by the Pakistan Government and its State Bank. The venue was in the heart of Karachi, Pakistan’s financial and commercial capital. Despite the apprehensions about the situation and being a newbie in a foreign land, it was not difficult for me to adjust because of the warm welcome and genuine hospitality that the Bank’s management and staff have accorded us for the duration of the course study. Together with the participants from developing economies, we had the opportunity to visit other major cities and places of Pakistan, including Peshawar and its nearby areas, which were among the flood-seriously hit regions recently.
The said short course fostered remarkable moments in my life, as it taught me how to be more independent, being away from home for the first time, and most importantly it provided me new perspectives and gained international friends from all walks of professional lives. I wish I could have commenced my blogging activities years ago , just to let them know how my stay in Pakistan influenced my views about life as a whole.
When I heard news about the recent Pakistan flood and other tragic stories happening in any parts of the world for that matter, be it fortuitous or not, it makes me sad. It urges me to do something, to reach out but could not, due to reasons beyond my control, except for my silent prayers for the victims. I thought the monetary and non monetary contributions could be best left to the richer governments like the United States, philanthropists like Bill Gates and credible organizations like the United Nations (UN) whose degree of influences would be far greater than mine.
Now that I’m part of the blogosphere community, I thought this is a right venue for me to make noise and encourage people to respond to the impassioned plea of the Pakistan Government, for immediate help and increase emergency aid, and of other countries stricken with natural catastrophes. This could be my way of returning the goodness once received from good- natured people, to echo the cry for help for all mankind so it can be seen and heard in every corner of the globe, especially by the privileged few, those who have all the luxuries in life, from billionaires down to the common people, who can afford to give, even if it hurts.
The recent flood in Pakistan as shown in the web and tri-media was harrowing and heart wrenching. It affected more or less 20 million people and 1,600 dead. The UN as a matter of fact considered this as a global disaster, a global challenge, and has appraised the said calamity as the “greatest humanitarian crisis in recent history”. It was ironic that said deluge happened just 5 days before the celebration of the World Humanitarian Day. As such, the incident has even doubly increased the current workloads and efforts of the international aid workers who have been patiently dealing with such charitable causes.
In its initial assessment of the Pakistan flood damage, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) reported that more than 800,000 houses have been damaged, 80,000 livestock have perished and 2 million hectares of crops have been destroyed, depriving the people of their livelihood and eventually posing a threat to the country’s food security. Additionally, more than 2,500 schools, 175 health centers, and 1,000 water supply facilities and power supply and distribution have been damaged. Vital infrastructures like roads and bridges have been broken, paralyzing other regions of the country.
We all know that Pakistan is no rich country. It is one of the nations where the gap between the rich and the poor is fast widening. World Bank reports show that a number of Pakistanis fall below the poverty line and live in villages, majority of whom were affected by the recent flood which devastated the country's already fragile economy. Prior to the calamity, poverty, health, education, unemployment are already among the principal problems in its society. We could just imagine how would these poor people be able to get up all the more from the bad effects of the recent disaster without the help of the “luckier” ones from within and outside the counry's perimeters, so to speak.
This call is not yet too late. It is just about time. It is not my responsibility alone, but all of us, regardless of race or creed, to spread the call for help as the people affected are just starting to pick up the pieces in view of the adverse outcome of the deluge.
Some have managed to retrieve their personal belongings and equipment covered with mud and people who have been homeless are now staying in tents in other districts.
They neither have land to till, crops to harvest, nor livestock to tend for personal or business purposes as the same have been washed away and drowned. Majority of the people have no food to eat and are presently depending on food donations from large organizations but it’s just not enough. These organizations have likewise to allocate part of their resources for other countries faced with similar situations.
This call for help is for all of us to take part in the cause of large organizations which have been there to assist in these times of crisis, not only in Pakistan but in other places as well, for humanitarian purposes. This call is just timely and opportune to coincide with the World Humanitarian Day celebrated this month. There are several ways and means to heed this call and it is just a matter of time and priority. Various credible and legitimate organizations are likewise available 24/7 on the web to receive donations. We don’t have to be super duper rich to help those organizations already on the ground. A cent, a dollar or more donations, if combined together with large contributions and if put to good use and managed well would definitely give impact on a person's life, especially those in need of food, clean water, basic sanitation and healthcare or to people living in emergency crisis like that of Pakistan.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog, there is happiness in giving than there is in receiving, particularly in helping the poor. It isn't what we have or who we are that makes us happy, it is the good things that we do, give or share with someone , whether big or small, that makes our faces and hearts glow and that’s the best gift that we could receive in return. So, let’s make a difference now! Help and Give! It is truly a rewarding experience!
Your feedback on this would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.