Hollywood visitor: Sean Penn comes to Badin

Published: March 24, 2012

Sean Penn along with the US Consul General Willian J Martin, spoke to the people and distributed relief goods. PHOTO COURTESY MUSHTAQUE RAJPAR

KARACHI / HYDERABAD: The people of Badin might not have known who Sean Penn is, but they shared their stories with the two-time Oscar winner about losing their homes in the 2011 floods.

Penn was part of the eight-member delegation of the United States diplomats and visitors who visited Badin on Friday and toured the flood-hit areas of the district. The delegation, including the US Consul General Willian J Martin, also held an hour-long meeting with the Badin DC, Kazim Jatoi.

Martin and Penn visited Karim Bux Jamali and Dargah Shah Gurio villages in Badin and handed out blankets, quilts, kitchen items and other goods among the people. Later, they also distributed relief goods to a village near Peero Lashari at Talhar road.

Penn mingled with the Kohli community’s flood survivors and asked them about the health and education facilities available in the area for their children. He seemed to be listening attentively as the people informed him about how the rains and floods destroyed their crops, ending their livelihood and rendering them homeless.

Misri Kolhi, who is the only literate man in his community, said that he was thankful to the American delegation for their assistance. “We have lost everything during the floods and are unable to earn an income as our brick factories are still submerged in knee-deep water,” he complained.

Martin, while talking to the media, said that the US has provided goods worth more than $25 million for the flood victims. The USAID has distributed 60,000 emergency shelters in addition to health clinics, which provided medical treatment to over a million people. He added that in the immediate aftermath of the flood, 1.6 million people were supplied water while food was provided to 1.2 million people. An emergency nutrition programme for 16,000 families is still going on, he said. Talking about the relations between Pakistan and the US, Martin said that the relations are slowly being restored as the ‘confusion’ which stemmed from the Salala check post attack dispels.

Penn on the other hand refused to talk to the media, saying that the purpose of his visit was solely to interact with the flood survivors.

The actor, the humanitarian

As much as the Hollywood actor and director is known for his performances, he is also known for his social activism and humanitarian work. The star of “Dead Man Walking”, “Mystic River” and “Milk” has been most appreciated for his efforts towards rebuilding and aiding the victims of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Following the earthquake, he co-founded the charitable organisation, J/P Haitian Relief Organisation, which manages a camp for 50,000 people along with provision of food, sanitation and health care. With awards such as the Oscars, Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild award already under his belt, he will receive an award at the 2012 Peace Summit at the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates next month in recognition of his charitable efforts in Haiti.

Penn issued a statement to express his gratitude for the award. “I’m thrilled to receive this tribute and to represent it to the youth of Haiti, the strong women of Haiti, and of the world. Tomorrow is a new day where cynicism is for cowards, and men of virtue and agency will be true heroes to their sons.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2012.

Reader Comments (34)

  • Maria
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:52AM

    I have become increasingly impressed with Sean Penn the social activist in as much as I love his films.

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  • Zeta
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:57AM

    Glad to have him here.

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  • Falcon
    Mar 24, 2012 - 11:29AM

    I saw his interview while he was working in Haiti. I must say he is one of the most self-less people (in at least the celebrities) I have seen; so passionate about social work yet really humble.

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  • Sameer
    Mar 24, 2012 - 11:44AM

    This kind of people-to-people contact is good from Pakistan and America. This must be encouraged and it must not stop at this. For Pakistan to remain an important player on the global stage, it must remain open to outsiders, including Americans!

    Pakistanis must never do away with their legendary hospitality when it comes to Americans just because they are “different” from Pakistanis. Pakistanis must remember that their prosperity and well being is contingent on having good relations with all important players on the international stage.

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  • saad chaudhry
    Mar 24, 2012 - 11:49AM

    it’s nice to see sean penn wearing the ajrak.it’s good to see the sindhi people take pride in their culture and traditional dresses.if sean penn ever came to punjab,he would never be given a pugree to wear as for some reason we punjabis are ashamed of our language and culture.

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  • AM
    Mar 24, 2012 - 11:52AM

    Come on people. Now lets start trashing US, its NGOs and the delegation. Let’s start deducing the ulterior motives and conspiracies. After all, that’s what we do best.

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  • Zafar malik
    Mar 24, 2012 - 12:20PM

    @saad chaudhry:

    yes,we would rather die than talk in our mother tongue.Especially the younger generation of punjabis suffers from a severe inferiority complex and are always apologetic about who they are.None of the people i know read punjabi newspapers or watch punjabi tv channels,nor do they speak in punjabi with their children.But it’s heartening to see our sindhi brothers being proud of who they are.

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  • aliza awais
    Mar 24, 2012 - 12:34PM

    I hate Americans…

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  • MUNIB
    Mar 24, 2012 - 12:41PM

    The “USA AID” label on the box says everything. People of PAK should be ashamed of their hypocrite attitude and their arrogance to USA.

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  • Mar 24, 2012 - 12:43PM

    God bless him

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  • parwaiz awan
    Mar 24, 2012 - 12:47PM

    glad to have Sean Penn here with the people,s of Badin (PAKISTAN) we are thankful to him n GOVERNMENT OF USA.

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  • Khan Taashk
    Mar 24, 2012 - 1:07PM

    Now is this what we are going to be happy at? This clearly indicates we are a beggar nation.

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  • Naveed Farooqi
    Mar 24, 2012 - 1:25PM

    Wow, I must say Sean Penn, has been my chilhood hero since 80ies, he is such a fab and profound actor, in my opinion the best in Hollywood. Now seeing him coiming to pk, is amaizing, I wish we had known and I wish I could meet him :) But such a wondeful gesture from him to our victims.
    A great thanks to Sean, from all of his die hard followers.

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  • Mar 24, 2012 - 1:33PM

    Sean Penn is a fabulous guy and a philanthropoist par-excellence. But he should not have arrived with US officials and especially with those boxes marked US Aid. The US Government is trying to use him to cover up their own diplomatic disasters. I hope Mr. Penn realizes that his Government is trying to take an unfair advantage of him.

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  • sars
    Mar 24, 2012 - 2:03PM

    you know what the people of Badin dont care where their aid comes from as long as they can feed their kids and get some clothing and shelter. Why dont we appreciate the efforts of anyone to make life better for our brothers, if we cant help them as much as we should.

    Its all very well to crib about US politics on a full stomach from your living rooms , with kids fast asleep in their rooms, going to school the next day.

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  • Sarfaraz Abbasi
    Mar 24, 2012 - 2:05PM

    Sean Penn was in my Sindh province! Great legendary actor.

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  • Mullah
    Mar 24, 2012 - 2:13PM

    @Zeta: I am astonished that you have finally has something positive to say.Recommend

  • HA
    Mar 24, 2012 - 2:29PM

    Welcome to the 5,000 year old nation of Sindh Mr. Penn :)

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  • Raza
    Mar 24, 2012 - 2:40PM

    @aliza awais:

    It is a free country – you are entitled to your opinions.
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  • madonna
    Mar 24, 2012 - 4:09PM

    Great actor and a humanitarian.Became a huge fan of his since Mystic River.

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  • Waqas
    Mar 24, 2012 - 4:23PM

    and in the meantime, Pakistanis keeps hating non-muslims/western people..

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  • Salman
    Mar 24, 2012 - 6:05PM

    @HA, your 5000 year old Sindhi Nation died when Muslim rule of the Sindh in 713 CE, the Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and Sufis travelled from the rest of the Muslim world to the Islamic Sultanate in Sindh, and settled there permanently. The Sindhi culture flourished with a new stimulus from Islamic sources from Persia and Afghanistan.

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  • Mawali
    Mar 24, 2012 - 6:26PM

    Living off of scraps because your own nation and people let you down. What has the Government done for the people of Badin. Zilch, nada, nothing! Penn can have his photo shoot go back and feel good about it the folks back in Badin will continue to suffer now and forever!

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  • Mar 24, 2012 - 7:31PM

    SIR it is nice job but you should help in education and I belong to very poor family and Iam Muslim please help me my contract number-03342816740Recommend

  • Saif M
    Mar 24, 2012 - 9:29PM

    It must be an Amreeki saazish :)))

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  • Nadeem
    Mar 24, 2012 - 9:48PM

    I remember Sean Penn’s vigorous campaign 9 years ago against the Iraq war. It showed his deep humanitarian side

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  • Umer
    Mar 24, 2012 - 9:48PM

    What happened to the two nation theory? Why are we letting these kuffar help us? :)

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  • Siddh
    Mar 24, 2012 - 9:50PM

    good job Sean… always loved the way u spoke for whats right, be it Iraq or anywhere else

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  • shezy
    Mar 24, 2012 - 11:10PM

    everything is drama….here they are distributing goods, and in Waziristaan drowned attack, What else in Afghnistan and Iraq…..bohat bohlay loog hain hum….

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  • Uhuh
    Mar 24, 2012 - 11:20PM

    People stop foaming in the mouth over Sean Penn and his ajrak. What are we the new Africa??? These celebrities and their token goodwill camera moments. Sean Penn is a joke in the US, when it comes to foreign policy comments and charity work he is about as publicity obsessed as George Clooney, and both have a penchant for getting their foot in the mouth with ill informed views.

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  • Khi2Khy
    Mar 24, 2012 - 11:55PM

    If he is from America to help the poor whose own rich film actors and political leaders avoided them_ whats wrong if he uses the charities of his origin that says USAID on the box?
    Also, which one of us has made a trip to these needy and neglected people? If USAID is responsible for making from masajid to setting-up small businesses for the poor all over the country what’s wrong with feeding these peoples? Make-up your mind folks, what do you want anyway? In the end
    _ What the issues of “all popular” Punjabi language has to do with his arrival & charity?

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  • Sameer Qadir
    Mar 25, 2012 - 12:00AM

    And now here is Sean Penn. The other side of the coin.For all the USA does to antagonize the people of Pakistan through the drone attacks, or attacks like the Salala check post, it is people like Sean Penn, who come to our backyard, and simply wipe the board clean for all the mess otherwise crfeated. Long live Sean Penn, may he recieve God’s blessings for all the good work he does.

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  • Moosa Khan
    Mar 25, 2012 - 9:44PM

    Shame on to the lawmakers in pk seeing other countries helping their own people while they are having fun looting the needed aid to the victims.

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  • Omar Haleem
    Mar 26, 2012 - 12:37AM

    Deserving man, he deserves respect and a lot of praise and credit for his work. What he did for the people of Haiti was incredible. Big fan of his..god bless him.

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