Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Indian Doctors Join Relief Efforts in Pakistan

Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

Ali Mardan leaving his village in Sindh Province. About 300,000 had to be evacuated from the province’s Kashmor District.

Treatment of flood victims

By Amar Guriro

KARACHI: As nations around the globe are planning to help Pakistan's flood victims, Indians have also decided to play their role by sending teams including 400 doctors and paramedical staff to work in the flood-hit districts.

The Indian civil society, who wants to see peace between both nuclear rivals, will make all arrangements to send these teams. The Indian doctors will work in flood-affected districts of Sindh province, but will avoid visiting Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa because of Taliban threat.

An Indian delegation of peace activists including Shri Sandeep Pandey of Voice of Ayodhiya, Mazher Hussain of Confederation of Voluntary Associations (COVA), Mumbai-based prominent human rights and social activists Feroze Mithiborwala, Gurudial Singh Sheetal, Monika Wahi, Zaid Ahmed Shaikh and others arrived in Pakistan on Sunday after holding rallies from Mumbai to Amritsar as part of recently announced Pakistan-India Peace Caravan, the 'Aman Ke Badhte Qadam'.

During a meeting with peace activists of Pakistan, Mazher Hussain offered to send doctors' teams to flood-hit districts. "We want to see peace between both countries and if in situations like this, help comes from India, it will send a message of love. So we will send doctors and medical experts with medicines to help the flood-affected people," he said.

COVA is an Indian Hyderabad-based network of over 800 organisations working in nine districts of Andhra Pradesh, and in the states of Gujarat, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir on different issues including peace.

During the meeting Pak-India Joint Flood Relief Committee was formed comprising Shri Sandeep Pandey, Mazher Hussain and Feroze Mithiborwala from India and Adam Malik, BM Kutty, Karamat Ali, Pakistan Medical Association president Dr Tipu Sultan, South Asia Partnership Executive Director, Muhammad Tahseen and Dr AH Nayyar from Pakistan.

"We will manage the arrival of the Indian doctors here so that they may start their work in flood-hit areas as soon as possible," said Mithiborwala.

The meeting also decided that the Indian doctors would work in Sindh, a southern province of the country. "The law and order situation in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is not good, so it will not be advisable to send them there, therefore we have decided to send them to areas in Sindh where they will be safe," said Kutty.

Talking to Daily Times, committee member Adam Malik said that there was no Taliban presence in Sindh and the people would welcome the Indian guests with open arms. "Besides that in Sindh everyone will help Indian doctors work easily in the flood-hot areas," said Malik.

The Indian members will manage the affairs till the teams reach Wagah from where the Pakistani members of the committee will take charge to bring them to the flood-hit areas.

"In the meeting we also decided that the Indian members besides sending doctors would also collect funds, medicines, tents and dry food items in Indian cities," said Pak-India Peace Caravan spokesperson, Sharafat Ali. He said that the Indian delegation also brought 35,000 Indian Rupees and submitted the amount to the Labour flood relief camp, set up by Labour Party Pakistan. "We are also talking to EDHI FOUNDATION to start relief work in flood-hit areas," he said. (NOTE HOW TO CONTRIBUTE TO EDHI FOUNDATION BELOW)

After causing widespread devastation in the north western and central parts of Pakistan, the floods, worst in 80 years, struck the southern Sindh province and badly affected more than five million people. In such conditions, the decision by Indian civil society to send doctors will boost the ongoing peace process.

Original article here


Here's the one charity I recommend because of the long history with emergency relief in and out of Pakistan. (Our family is donating here) This will help the foundation to operate in perhaps the greatest challenge of their history. Since they are based in Pakistan, they will be called upon in many countless ways to help the victims somewhat in solo as well as to help coordinate other volunteering groups:

Edhi Foundation here

This group does not do Credit Cards (at least out of New York).
For US readers, please send your check to:

USA Edhi international Foundation
42-07 National Street
Corona, New York, 11368 USA

Tel: (718) 639-5120 Fax: (718) 335-1978

Find other centers AROUND THE WORLD & Pakistan collecting for Edhi Foundation here

Of course this disaster is way too large for any one group. This flood disaster and the many affected need the entire world's help. PLEASE DO YOUR PART!

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