A TRIP TO FLOOD-AFFECTED AREAS
Oct 18 - 24, 2010
The floods that hit Pakistan was unprecedented in the history and struck the hearts of many who woke up to the call of the day and stood shoulder to shoulder with their brethren in this hour of need.
Extending supports to the flood relief efforts, Seema Mughal, Vice-Chancellor Greenwich University constituted a body comprising a group of students and staff members.
She held meetings with the team and assured them of her support and guidance in every respect form collecting donations to providing logistic support until the goods and services were delivered to the flood affectees.
During a meeting she said, 'The magnitude of the disaster is not bigger than our determination. She encouraged the students to come forward and leave no stone unturned to help the country rise above the crisis.
After a week of collecting donations and packing the food for the flood affectees, on our way to Jamshoro we (the team) came up to sights that we would never forget. It was the worst sight to see millions of families lying on the road under the scorching rays of sun. Thousands of homes were destroyed.
We could see people dying of hunger watching their flooded homes with hopeless eyes and no remedy available for the children suffering from diarrhea. The dams were made of sand that could fall anytime and increase the casualties.
The team that went to flood affected areas in Sindh comprised of eight students namely Mudassir Muneir, Sheikh Zunair Khalid, Fatah Ijaz, Humayun Saleem, Zohaib Sikandar, Salman Chachar, and myself.
The staff that supported us in our trip included Mian Muhammad Afzal, Khalid Khan (late), Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Kamran, Rub Nawaz and Farhan. We also had with us Ali, Hussain and Yaseen.
Najeebur Rehman Channa, Director Sport Mehran University welcomed us. He had made arrangements for our stay and food. After dropping our belongings and freshening ourselves at the guest house, we set for a major course that was the distribution of the food packages. The distribution was to take place at multiple places.
Mr Channa had listed a number of families who were affected by the flood and no relief was given to them. The heat was unbearable yet those people had waited for us for almost 3 hours. The distribution went smoothly as it was all organised but the increasing heat could not de-motivate the passion of our team. Until 1:00 PM, we were done with the distribution and headed back to the guest house. On our way back, we came up to a sight where there were three ladies guarding a cot. After talking to them, we came to know that their 5-day old child was sick. Dr. Iqbal looked at the child and asked the mother why she was not feeding the child. She said that she was weak herself and could not feed the child. The doctor suggested the mother to feed child from packed milk in drops.
We rested for 2 hours and then again went to a place near Pak Camp Military House. There we came across another sight that was terrifying. We were standing on one side of a dam. The dam's height was over our heads and the water on the other side was reaching the top of the dam. One thing that was noticeable there was the hospitality of people. Despite that, they had no food left they were serving us with cold water to let us freshen up.
This was something we did not expect to see at all. The distribution there took a lot of time as it was a new place and we had not listed number of families that were to be given the food. Situation was still in control as we had a strong supporting staff. When the distribution ended, it was time for Iftari and we had to leave for our guesthouse.
After Iftari we went to local government school where the people were sitting on chattais in a row. The distribution was again organised but the condition of the people was so miserable that it was hard to control our emotions. Finally, we went to a locality that was not attended by any relief programs. The distribution there took time as it was again a new place and we had to reorganise everything.
The main purpose of our trip was to penetrate the areas where no relief had reached. We are planning another bigger trip with high ambitions. All we need is the support of our fellow students and our administration that has been with us all the time. We are also grateful to Mr Channa without whose support the objective of the trip was unattainable.