Step 1 complete, next stop - distribute collections

Each volunteer, most of whom are between the ages of 12 and 28 years, has made a personal contribution to the cause.

Samia Saleem August 14, 2010

KARACHI: After collecting donations for the past 14 days at Royal Rodale, young members of Rotaract have managed to load their collections onto trucks bound for Sukkur and Khairpur.

Each volunteer, most of whom are between the ages of 12 and 28 years, has made a personal contribution to the cause. When the camp started, Ayesha Allahwala, a member of Rotaract Karsaz, sent messages to all the people in her phonebook. “By the time I reached Rabia’s name on the list, I received my own message from her,” she said.

These young volunteers have so far managed to collect Rs1.5 million in collaboration with Pehla Qadam and Interact Club of Karachi Karsaz, which will start distributing collections once the complete consignment reaches the venue.

The consignment comprises carefully distributed and individually packed bundles of food and shelter items.  A standard packet includes wheat, rice, pulses, milk, sugar, biscuits, chips, oil, tea, drinking water, ORS and porridge.

A truckload of such boxes was sent to Khairpur two days ago, another left on Friday and one more is expected to leave on Saturday, said Arsalan Ahmed, the general-secretary of Rotary Club Karsaz, Karachi.

Arsalan was hopeful that with the given donations, the club can reach around 2,500 families, of four to five persons each, and one bundle will be enough to last them a week.

The generous amounts of donations that they received comprised household items, quilts, clothes and other items of daily use.

“People have been very generous in donating,” said Ayesha. “We received Rs50,000 in our account by an anonymous person and similarly, two days ago, our colleague received Rs120,000 from another anonymous source,” she exclaimed.

Perhaps the people are not as charitable as they were during the 2005 earthquake but they still empathise with the survivors, explained Ayesha, adding that all people need is credible means through which they can reach out to the survivors.

While relief goods are on their way to the survivors, Arsalan feels that a new concern has risen among the volunteers. “They (survivors) have no means to cook the food that we are sending and we have no particular way to reach the badly affected ones,” he said, worried that their efforts may go to waste.

The Rotary members are now thinking of supplying cooked food in concentration camps so that the survivors are facilitated as much as possible, he added.

To make sure that the goods reach the people who really need help, Rotaract will use its network in other cities, explained Ahsan Kidwai, the project coordinator. Ahsan and Arsalan will both be visiting the affected areas today (Saturday) to distribute the goods.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2010.


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