Original Articles

Magnanimity Continues – by Shaizi Tauseef

Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari at Flood Relief Camp while distributing aid to the victims of flood

Mother Teresa once said, “The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity”. Many people come and go but only those are remembered who dedicate their lives for serving humanity. The meaning of serving humanity in these materialistic days can only be understood by those who are helpless and needy. All religions of the world teach not to harm others and to share problems with each other and to try to solve them collectively. Basically all religions teach their followers to do good deeds. Human difficulties, problems, natural disasters, accidents, diseases have been striking from the beginning of the human race. Despite great many advancements and inventions in the fields of science and technology, human is still at the mercy of natural forces. He is always in need to solve his problems.

As we know Pakistan is facing worst kind of flood disaster in history. Rains have devastated large parts of Southern Pakistan. About eight million people have been affected losing their homes, households, grains, crops and livestock. Worst affected districts are Badin, Umer Kot, Benazirabad, Khairpur, Jamshuru and Tharparker. Badin’s more than 90% area is underwater. About 4.5 million acres of crops have destroyed, more than 60,000 livestock have missing or died, 1200 houses are damaged and 60,000 houses have been completely destroyed. Hundreds of mothers have lost their children and great many have lost source of income for the whole family. We also witnessed similar kind of destruction in 2010.

Having seen this terrible condition of flood affected people, many kind hearted people came forward to help. The name of Bakhtawar Bhutto is one of them. Who is Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari and what does she want? The answer is very simple. She is the elder daughter of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto who always raised her voice for the poor and the helpless people. She gave her energies for the rights of the masses, and even scarified her life in this mission. Bakhtawar Bhutto has inherited the passion of serving the people from her mother. Following the footsteps of her mother, Bakhtawar Bhutto started with social services even during her educational period. She’s a very active social worker involved in humanitarian and relief activities at both national and international levels.

Last year when Pakistan was suffering with worst floods disaster was like no other in living memory and Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari’s response was remarkable. The floods have affected 20 million people an 1/5 of the country. Like everyone, she also worried and decided to help her countrymen during the critical juncture. She launched an NGO with the name “Save the Flood and Disaster Victims Organization” (SFDVO). Given the efforts and difficulties of running an NGO in our country, it was a great step. Only people with sincere commitment and passion to serve people can carry such mission and Bakhtawar Bhutto is one of them. Inheriting the passion, she is following the great tradition of her brave mother, grandfather and father.

Save the Flood and Disaster Victims Organization’s (SFDVO) basic purpose is to assertively network to ensure fundraising for flood victims. It aims to pull the affected people out of disastrous situation and to make their lives better so they can live on their own. SFDVO has taken many steps to provide help to flood victims. Until now, the collected funds are distributed over 50,000 families across the country. About 200 houses were built in Shahadkot in September 2011. In August, 200 sewing machines were distributed among widows. In December 2010, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari visited camps in Karachi, Larkana and Nauderu and announced 10,000 blankets to affected people as well as 3 water filter pumps. Each pump will be able to deliver 50,000 gallons on a daily basis to the affected area. Besides that, food which included milk, rice, flour etc., readymade clothes for women, men and children, medicines, and clean water have been distributed among flood affected areas in all provinces. 12 trucks of food items were distributed among Larkana’s affected people. Special relief packages for women have also been prepared by SFDVO. These packages are specially arranged for pregnant women to cater to their special needs. This organization has also prepared special relief packages for children, which mainly consist of ready-to-eat snacks, milk and vitamins enriched edibles. And the efforts are still on.

“Save the Flood Victims Fund” was launched on 10th August 2010 and managed to collect over Rs. 100 million at start. This NGO also has the credit that Bakhtawar managed to collect Rs 112.2 million in just four days. To ensure the transparent distribution of funds, its website enlists detailed measures for transparency. It will ensure that money from donors is used in the right way, at the right time and in a totally transparent manner.

It was just a short summary of Save the Flood and Disaster Victims Organization’s aims and activities. It’s highly remarkable that in short time SFDVO has achieved so much with hard work and honesty. We believe that Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari will complete her mission of serving people. Soon she will be known at home and abroad to take a leading role on social services and will create a positive image of Pakistan around the world.

Funds for Save the Flood and Disaster Victims Organization can be deposited on Account Number 168901003437. Zip Code, UNILPKKA UBL SEA VIEW BRANCH KARACHI.

The writer is an advocate and can be reached at shaizicheema@hotmail.com. She tweets at http://twitter.com/#!/ShaiziCheema


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Farhad Jarral


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