Heatwave volunteerism: These images will restore your faith in Karachi

Published: June 27, 2015

KARACHI: The past week has been a test for Karachiites; with an unprecedented heatwave and endless load-shedding, the residents of the metropolis are trying their best to hold it together while observing the Holy month of Ramazan.

Read: Death toll from killer Karachi heatwave surpasses 1,000

The sweltering five-day heatwave, which claimed over 1,000 lives, led to an influx of bodies into morgues and forced medical officials to store bodies in body bags on the floor. Air conditioning units at the morgue stopped working. To make matters worse, after morgues, the city ran out of funeral vans.

People expressed their disappointment at the apathy displayed by the provincial government and said it did little more than lay the blame on others. But it was during this time Karachi’s undefeated spirit of volunteerism shone and in the absence of the government, people took charge. Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, this inevitable crisis united us as one and encouraged us to work towards one common goal: to save our city and its people.

Read: No mercy: After morgues, city runs out of funeral vans

The city witnessed a surge of people of all ages coming out on the streets with cold water bottles, ice and food for iftari. Not only this, they are also gathering funds to facilitate victims of the deadly heatwave and trying to save lives one by one.

Read: Sindh govt responsible for heatwave deaths in Karachi, says Khawaja Asif

Here are some heartwarming pictures from the past few days that are guaranteed to restore your faith in humanity and in the city:

Men hold cups and wait to receive cold water for hydration. PHOTO: AFP

A policeman throws cold water on a person who is unconscious after a heat stroke. PHOTO: REUTERS

Cold water is being poured over a man after he gets dehydrated. PHOTO: AFP

Volunteers shift a heatstroke victim to a hospital in Karachi. PHOTO: AFP

A woman wets her burqa to cool her father’s head outside the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) in Karachi. PHOTO: REUTERS

A volunteer distributes water bottles to commuters along a road during the intense hot weather in Karachi. PHOTO: REUTERS

A woman, suffering from heat wave, receives treatment at an army heat stroke relief centre, setup at a local school in Karachi. PHOTO: REUTERS

Volunteers distribute ice in a neighbourhood in Karachi. PHOTO: AFP

A man carries a heat wave victim to a hospital in Karachi on June 22. PHOTO: AFP

Volunteers distribute drinks to people before breaking their fast during Ramazan in Karachi on June 20. PHOTO: AFP

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Reader Comments (11)

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Jun 27, 2015 - 5:33PM

    It is good to see so much goodwill around. The spectacle of People going out of their way to help others without any ethnic, sectarian or other considerations is very reassuring. In fact, Karachiites have always been big-hearted. After all, Edhi Foundation, with the largest fleet of privately-owned ambulance is run on public charity and the same is the case with Ramzan Chhipa set up. There are numerous other set ups which provide free food and other services to thousands of people every day, and do it in a very dignified way.

    And it is not just on institutional basis. I have seen even little school-going boys and girls giving digging into their pockets and giving something to the beggars out of their pocket money. Even though some of this type of charity may be ill-advised as it could encourage begging nevertheless, it does demonstrate the kindness and helping nature of the little ones.

    And there is also Malik Riaz Hussain a property tycoon, who offers superb housing schemes to Pakistanis and additionally, returns a large part of his profits to the community in the form of charitable and humanitarian work.

    I wish our politicians also learn a bit from all this. Unfortunately, they are not used to giving, but only to taking, and taking stolen national wealth preferably out of the country. The biggest misfortune of us ordinary citizens is that our divisions on ethnic and sectarian grounds have rendered us totally incapable of presenting a formidable, united stand to our corrupt and inept leaders and taking advantage of this weakness, they treat us the way they like and it is the same story almost all over Pakistan. In such an atmosphere, the performance of public-spirited people in Karachi is very pleasing indeed.


  • Simab
    Jun 27, 2015 - 5:56PM

    In the end, only Pakistan’s citizens can save the country from collapse. It’s a small wonder that we face unity and humanity in such moments but fail to do anything when faced with corrupt governments. Truly saddening yet at the same time hope inspiring,Recommend

  • Rabia
    Jun 27, 2015 - 9:53PM

    Yeah there is this guy I know on twitter, faizan, he is selling his artwork to people for 500 a piece and the good thing is that people are actually buying it for donation purposes. He has collected over 25,000 rupees. Calamities like this brings out the human within us. It restores your faith in humanity seeing your countrymen help fellow countrymen in times like these.Recommend

  • Mir Ali
    Jun 28, 2015 - 12:52AM

    Pak Army ZindabadRecommend

  • Saleem
    Jun 28, 2015 - 5:47AM

    Thanks Tribune for reminding us who we really are. Must cherish a little humanity that is left in us.Recommend

  • Rafay khan
    Jun 28, 2015 - 11:41AM

    Good to see kind hearted police man
    Doing stuff for a fellow human

    Islam abhi baqi hay

    Please share more such pictures to give faith to those who blame Pakistani people for these sad situations saying this is fruits of their doing but not knowing the good and clean hearts of Majority of Pakistani peeople and their readiness to help the needy

  • ali
    Jun 28, 2015 - 2:05PM

    WHY Load shedding, WHY shortage of electricity/ & water, there is no water or electricity in Pakistan this shows the lack of mismanagements. negligence’s . No one is taking responsibilities, how long Peoples of Pakistan can face these issues, is there end on these matters?


  • Jun 28, 2015 - 3:00PM

    The PM & his cabinate specially sindh govt is required to resign of the karachi facts about heatwave deaths, a ruler who couldn’t provide just electricity in such a modern equipment world which is the basic requirement for water and other nutrient necessery for human life-should be resigned volunteerly.Recommend

  • Aisha Rashid
    Jun 29, 2015 - 12:26AM

    Feeling proud of my fellow Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Jun 29, 2015 - 12:15PM

    Proud to see the true humanitarian spirit among Pakistani citizens. Recommend

  • Karachiwala
    Jul 3, 2015 - 12:54AM

    deliberately left out mqm stands pictures!! Recommend

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