ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is a nation divided into many races, castes, creeds and classes. Yet, whenever a calamity hits the country, we become united in our empathy.
The devastating earthquake which hit the northern parts of the county in 2005 is one of the examples of this humanitarian support
Now that the country is facing one of its worst floods ever, the spirit of volunteerism is once again direly needed.
For this purpose, relief camps have been established at every nook and corner of the capital for collecting goods to help flood victims. However, the transparency of many of these camps leaves a question mark.
Mobashir Rabbani, a philanthropist, told the Express Tribune that contributions were not as large scale this time around. “After the 2005 earthquake, people have lost trust in making contributions through non-governmental organisations,” he said. He felt that a lot of bogus organisations had been cheating people out of their money in the name of flood relief.
Waqas Sheikh, assistant manager Khubaib Foundation, said that people were not as enthusiastic in their donations as they were in 2005.
Muhammad Ali, a student and resident of G-6/3, said, “I feel really bad when I see my country fellows drowning and crying for help.” Holding a package of milk, juices and water bottles in his hand, he said, “I want to help them but my parents are not allowing me to go at the flood hit areas. That’s why I collect these small items and donate to relief camps.” He added that people were not concerned about the transparency of these relief camps because they were donating in the name of Allah and doing their bit.
Uzair Khan and his friends had donated heavily during the 2005 earthquake, but have not done so this time around. “We have decided that we are going to gather donations from friends and deliver them to the flood-affected areas personally,” he explained. “We really cannot trust these people to deliver our goods. We thought of giving in the name of Allah but that’s just deliberate ignorance,” he added. Fauzia Mahmood, who is organising the trip said, “Relief workers should be accountable and should make videos of their donation.”
The Express Tribune found a number websites asking for donations that had copied posters from international organisations and superimposed their own logos. These groups had a large number of visitors and were being shared on social networking sites like Facebook. People have questioned the authenticity of such groups who seemed to disregard copyright laws. Mansoor Ahmed, Director Municipal Administration (DMA), Capital Development Authority (CDA) said that a number of organisations were functioning without NOCs and this would be monitored and stopped.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2010.
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