On my three official visits to Chennai, I had nothing much to do in the evenings except catching up with my reading and watching the idiot box in the river facing rooms that I was ensconced in at the Madras Club, until I made some good friends. My one big grouse was that Indian TV channels believed that only bad news about Pakistan was worth covering. But soon after I returned to Pakistan and started watching our own news channels more intently, I found, much to my horror, that our own TV journalists were doing the same not just when covering India but also their own country.

Sadly, there is hardly a TV news channel which gives coverage to the excellent work that some charities are doing in Pakistan. No other country in the Third World has so many non-profit organisations that help the downtrodden in so diverse fields and on such large scales.

Everyone, at least in Pakistan, knows about the great job the Edhi Foundation is doing in different spheres – from running cancer hospices and ambulance services (Edhi Foundation has the largest fleet in the world, as the Guinness Book of Records mentions) to providing shelter to battered women and education to poor children. Mr Edhi, who deserves nothing less than a Nobel Prize for Peace, is everywhere despite his old age. Wherever there is a calamity, he rushes to the site to provide help. If an unwanted child is left in one of his centres, he (and his wife, Bilqees) is there to take the infant under his protective wing.

The Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Lahore is doing a remarkable job too. Most of its patients are poor and unable to pay for the long drawn and expensive treatment provided by the hospital. The model is being replicated in Peshawar.

A state of the art health institution, the SIUT (Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation) and the Indus Hospital are both providing excellent services in the health sector. What is more they don’t charge anything. That goes for the LRBT (Layton Rehmatullah Benevolent Trust) as well. I remember an affluent lady who could have got ophthalmic treatment in any country in the West but she opted to have her surgery done at the LRBT, which is cleaner than most private hospitals in Karachi and where treatment can be described as state-of-the-art. Cured and satisfied, she gave a hefty donation to the institution and continues to pay from out of her zakat to the institution every Ramazan.

LRBT has 16 hospitals all over Pakistan, two of which – one in Karachi and the other in Lahore – are the best equipped ophthalmic institutions in the country. There are also 41 community centres where ophthalmic technicians examine patients and decide whether they can be treated as outpatients or are in need of surgery. As many as one-third of all OPD patients with problems of vision in the country are treated in one of the LRBT institutions and one-fourth of ophthalmic surgeries are done in the 16 eye hospitals run by the not-for-profit organisation.

There is no institution that I have watched more closely than The Citizens Foundation. Fifteen years ago, five or six friends from affluent families, who met every weekend, grumbled about the flaws in our country. Finally, one of them said “OK, enough is enough. Either we make a positive contribution to alleviate the miseries of the unprivileged people in Pakistan or we just shut up.” There was a pause and then everyone was convinced that they ought to join hands and work in one field. The one they chose was education, for the lack of it was the main cause of many ills that the country suffered from. They agreed on a target of setting up five schools for children of economically underprivileged parents in the first year.

The goal was achieved and the bar was raised. Today they have as many as 731 schools in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir (also Northern Areas). The fee structure is incredibly low because Pakistanis in and out of the country have been donating generously to TCF. Non-Pakistanis are also impressed with the institution and try to help it in many ways. The well known Indian novelist and columnist Shobhaa De donated more than Rs 50,000 that she had earned through her weekly columns for Dawn, when I wrote to her about the great job TCF has been doing for so many years.

Partnering TCF is the Honehar Foundation which provides vocational training to young men in Karachi. But that’s not the only place that they want to professionally help our youth. Construction on four such projects in smaller towns is on at a rapid pace. My friend, Nighat Mir, who is a member of the foundation’s steering committee, informs me that very soon work will commence on an institute meant exclusively for young women in Karachi.

Moreover, I recently learnt about the Aman Foundation and the excellent work that it is doing. It provides nutritious food to students at lunch time at 10 schools in Khuda ki basti. Patients admitted to the Indus Hospital also get free food which is cooked in the clean and spacious kitchen run by the Aman Foundation staff. The non-profit trust has plans to work in other social sectors too. Going by their past record one can be reasonably sure that they would excel in other fields as well.

Also, in an age when microfinance institutions are under fire, the Akhuwat Foundation has set up a model which should be shown to the loan sharks in the organised and unorganised sectors. They give interest free income enhancement loans to people who are already running very small scale businesses. Since they don’t charge interest their overheads are very low. In Karachi, as many as 1,400 families in the Landhi and Korangi areas have benefited from the scheme. Akhuwat doesn’t have an office. The committee members meet once a week in a school or a community centre, when heads of the families seeking financial help are interviewed. There are only three employees of Akhuwat in Karachi. Their job is to keep a tab on the borrowers and in rare cases help them professionally.

The Karachi chapter is only three years old but in Lahore Akhuwat is much more entrenched. It has been doing a fine job for 11 years. Compared to Rs 1,3m that the Karachi chapter has lent so far the Lahore office has Rs 1 billion in circulation.

All these organisations have their websites which provide much information about their working but there are many more which work quietly and on smaller scales. For instance, when I pass by Café Clifton, near Karachi’s Seaview Township, at 6 am, I find a large number of rag pickers, labourers, sanitary workers, not to speak of women and children, sitting in two separate lines. Each of them gets a paratha and a hot cup of tea. I tried to find out the name of the man who finances the breakfast without fail every day but I was told that he prefers to remain anonymous. All I could gather was that the philanthropist is a Pakistani who has a large business in the UAE.

Many people buy nihari and naan for the poor who sit outside nihari joints. Karachi is dotted with what are more than mere soup kitchens. Edhi Foundation and Alamgir Trust are the ones who run these centres, where curry and naan are served twice a day. In Ramazan the beneficiaries swell manifold.

I was told by Umar Ghafoor, Chief Operating Officer, LRBT, that of the donations that the charity gets, 55 per cent comes from Pakistan and 45 per cent from the diaspora. Similar viewpoints were expressed by people at the helm of other non-profits as well.

I am afraid many people will go for my jugular because I have left quite a few organisations which are providing laudatory services to our people, particularly the ones outside Karachi. But I would only be too happy if my readers would write a paragraph about the philanthropists I have missed out.

The writer, who jointly authored the bestselling ‘Tales of Two Cities’ with Kuldip Nayar and more recently compiled and created ‘Mehdi Hasan: The Man and his Music’ writes and lectures on art, literature and culture. He also pens travelogues and humorous pieces.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Asif Noorani writes and speaks on a wide variety of subjects, except politics. His pet theme is the need for closer cultural relations between India and Pakistan. He can be reached at asifnoorani2002@yahoo.com

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments (111)

Shoaib Rabbani
July 9, 2011 1:33 pm
Mr. Asif, these things are not enough, we need to do more! The politicians need to think about this country rather than their pockets!
A. M. Nazim
July 9, 2011 1:43 pm
Its encouraging to read about the philanthropy activities in our country. Another positive initiative by Pakistanis in the Middle East is Diya Pakistan (www.diyapak.org). With a focus on education, Diya recently helped rehabilitate more than 80,000/- children all over Pakistan who were the victims of flood disaster.
Faraz Fayyaz
July 9, 2011 1:45 pm
It was good if we show numbers to people how many people have benefited actually all organizations are doing good job but is that sufficient as we have 180 million people and in tax collection only 2% people are paying I think revolution is required to change people mentality.
Akbar Ali
July 9, 2011 1:58 pm
Nice, loved the writeup. Its good to see people appreciate efforts. One thing is for sure, it us the citizens who need to make the difference we just cant rely on people at the top as they to come from within us. Selani Welfare Trust and Chipa are few I can think of now in Karachi. There are small initiatives by people like schools in slum areas, schools like Tabeer located in Shiri Jinnah Colony, Karachi is an amazing effort and several schools like the one mentioned are operating. Efforts though of these organizations should align and unite at some point to give better results.
July 9, 2011 2:16 pm
Thank you! Time we recognised the good work being done by so many fine people, one tends to forget when all that is being reported is what's wrong with the country and its rulers.
Mazhar Hussain
July 9, 2011 2:50 pm
Thank you very much Mr. Asif for writing positive about Pakistan. I live in Australia and here I always tell people about charity works and about generous personalities of Pakistan. This is the thing that our news media should cover but sadly we most of the time listen to just bad news. I believe Pakistan has countless positive things to deliver.
Mohammad Ali Khan
July 9, 2011 3:00 pm
I wish the news media will take initiative and develop institution of investigative journalism focussed on NGO's.This will be a great service to the people of Pakistan.I feel their is a vacuum in this branch of journalism in Pakistan. Well researched effort in highlighting the performance of these institutions will motivate many skeptics on the sideline.Thanks in advance.
July 9, 2011 3:02 pm
The way you wrote the first two paragraphs, you are eminently positioned to push for greater integration of not only such welfare institutions/NGOs to work together within all South Asian countries, but also for the electronic and print media in the region to work together, with greater responsibility, toning down the "mud-slinging" approach. Good article, anyway ! GK Chennai
July 9, 2011 3:27 pm
Your article is amazing and while going through it I got so emotional, I felt like crying. I live in Saudi Arabia and I always feel so good when something positive comes from Pakistan. Sadly we often get to hear soo much negative about Pakistan that it really breaks my heart because I know that the good things about Pakistan outweigh its negative aspects. The brotherhood, love, respect and soo much more are inherent in the people of Pakistan. Allah has blessed Pakistan and the people of this region, if only we could learn to respect his blessings and give our thanks to him.
July 9, 2011 3:46 pm
MR ASIF Great article.....it makes ones heart swell with pride when we read such positive writeups about our country....please expand the names of more charitable organization for us who live abroad. it would be so helpful for us especially with ramadhan next month.All these names of organizations are well known..it would be helpful to know about the small organizations which need more support.
July 9, 2011 4:47 pm
A good article but it missed to point out thousand of poor students getting shelter, food & education in schools/madarsa operated by network of relegious instutions/trusts in mosques.Some students of these madarsas may be turned into hand of terrorists, but majority are peaceful. Sone madarsas have also introduced courses in English & Computers trying to upgrade their standards. We will be ungrateful, not to acknowledge their work. This may be the largest network if compared to others mentioned by the writer.
Kashif Shaikh
July 9, 2011 5:17 pm
A very nice article which summarizes the major charitable activities in Pakistan. We need to have more of these articles so that people are aware about the positives in Pakistan and can give more in coming Ramzan and other months
ashok kaul,bhu
July 9, 2011 5:23 pm
The element of compassion has after along time surfaced in the media.Good article.People by and large are human with fellow feeling.This is very much appreciated when you are not in your country.It gives you asense of pride.Good things are always good things .Say more about it.
July 9, 2011 5:24 pm
dear Asif, You may like to know the working of another philanthropist association, named APPEC, that is working for health and education sectors in Pakistan, while collecting 100% donations from abroad. Please have a look on their website: http://www.durabledevelopment.com/appec/ in particular the success stories.
Nandakumar K
July 9, 2011 5:30 pm
Media in India must be focusing on the negative side of Pakistan assuming that most of their viewers in India would like to see things that way. But I am sure that there are lots of people like me in India who would like to hear about the good things happening in Pakistan and waiting anxiously to see the people in that country living in peace and prosperity.
July 9, 2011 5:41 pm
Excellent article giving due credit to where it belongs. Hats off to Edhi organizations whose relentless services are devoid of discrimination of race, sect and bigotry. I have also known of philanthropy efforts by James Caan in setting up new school for children but I have never seen it being given any credit. Is it a case of him being a foreign Pakistani not deserving a pat on the back?
Gulfam Mustafa
July 9, 2011 5:42 pm
Everything is good except politicians.
Capt Mansur from Nam
July 9, 2011 5:54 pm
Heartening to read this article. I wish our TV channels follow the writer.
Jaffar Ali
July 9, 2011 5:55 pm
Good to see that atleast someone is pin-pointing the positives that our country has to offer, keep up the good work!
July 9, 2011 5:58 pm
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We need a weekly column like this. It is absolutely crucial to highlight the positive in our present circumstances.
July 9, 2011 6:05 pm
Dear Mr. Noorani, Awesome! Great job on recognizing, and informing us of the good deeds of fellow beings. May we all at some level take part in the good work of helping release the suffering of those how cannot help them self. Best of Regards, -tayyab
tahira mussart hussa
July 9, 2011 6:05 pm
thanks for writing something positive about pakistan.
raj kumar chhabra
July 9, 2011 6:11 pm
good and well written ...i agree.....both indo-pak people only know...violent things and views about each other.......and these are publicised too on media both print and television.....why not have positive news...about each other.....on both the medias.....as it has vast readers and audience.......infact both awan love each other.....and have mutual respect too....aatey raho bataate raho...likhte raho.....taan ke maloom to ho......
July 9, 2011 6:27 pm
Childrren Cancer Foundation (CCF), Fatimaid Blood Bank, Hussaini Blood Bank, Patients Aid Foundation at JPMC, Patient's Welfare Association at CHK, Sahara Trust, Zindagi Trust, Chiipa Welfare Trust, Ansar Burney Trust, Selani Welfare Trust!!
July 9, 2011 6:54 pm
You have to keep in mind that the politicians control media. What else do you expect from political controlled media from both countries? they control journalism for their own personal interests otherwise they won't have jobs.
Muhammad Ahmed
July 9, 2011 6:56 pm
I think we should also mention Hamdard and Mansoora among such organizations because these have been doing excellent work. It is funny that how things work and there are so many small contributions which go unnoticed. ADP (Association for Development of Pakistan) is another good organization. They have yuppie tendencies with their project management setups but nonetheless they have done some good work. People should not forget the work from Pakistan military as well as many NGOs that was done to help out people affected by Earthquake. We have barbaric tendencies just like every one else in this world which become flared because of economic and social injustices and result in excess actions of violence but yet we have resilience to stand up and move on. People who believe in their own ability to withstand hardships and grow out of them with sense of purpose are the ones which seem to grow larger as the time passes. Author indeed provides examples of such organizations which were initiated with sense of purpose and are now flourishing even during times when everyone loves to label Pakistan a failed state. It was good to read this. It always reminds me that regardless of the general faults in our society and government we have a few good individuals who are actually working for the benefit of everyone and they should be respected for their good work.
Humair Karim
July 9, 2011 7:06 pm
Excellent Article Sir. These good points about our beloved country need to be highlighted more often! Inshallah soon all our problems will be solved
Natasha Suleman
July 9, 2011 7:13 pm
Much needed positivity. Pakistanis may have a thousand things wrong with em but they are generous people no doubt. Well done Pakistanis! Proud of you!
Nighat Mir
July 9, 2011 7:35 pm
a really feel good piece of news about Pakistan. Well done Pakistan. and well done Asif. to know more about the movement to skill the motivated but underprivileged youth of Pakistan, visit www.hunarpakistan.org
July 9, 2011 8:01 pm
Excellent article!. Great to know that such work is being underway, but gets unnoticed in our world of chaos. More work needs to be done to publicize these organizations. If every single pakistani through out the world help these existing organizations, there is a hope in making a dent in pakistani social problems.
July 9, 2011 8:26 pm
Good to hear about positives of Pakistan. We really should be focussing on mention them more often. Another NGO worth mentioning is the Al-khidmat Foundation. I have heard that they run free dispensaries across Pakistan where poor can go and get free medicine. Also they run jinazah services for poor families for free. Also they are building a huge hospital in a backward city of Layyah in Punjab. This hospital will be well equipped and will serve the poor for free.
Paki from Dubai
July 9, 2011 8:32 pm
No mention of Aga Khan FOundation which is one of the biggest NGO in Pakistan for decades,
Paki from Dubai
July 9, 2011 8:36 pm
more than this genorisity Pakistan needs honest payment of taxes - most people in Pakistan think that charity is alternative to taxes and that how they statisfy their guilt in consience.
July 9, 2011 8:49 pm
I would also like to mention that the CEO of Shifa hospitals and medical schools in Islamabad is doing alot of philathropy activities in Pakistan. They have opened schools and educational institutions near Islamabad where they provide free education,vocational training, shelter, food etc to the orphans affected by earthquake and floods in Pakistan. We have to bring about the positive things happening in Pakistan. Too muuch negativity
July 9, 2011 8:55 pm
what about giving these people some job training or education so they can help themselves and later help others....giving food to these people day after day only keep them constraint to such donations. Give man a fish, feed him for a day....teach him how to fish, feed him for life!
Kiran Bashir Ahmad
July 9, 2011 9:11 pm
Its good to see the positive notes among a long list of negatives. Recently while on a visit to India (Delhi) for a conference, it was interesting to note the misconceptions about Pakistan and Pakistanis, thanks to the fact that while Pakistani television channels are banned there, the internet too has its fair share of horrific news from the country. Words like 'terror' 'disaster' 'wounded' 'killed' 'ousted' form the major chunk of the first page continued in detail on the next two. The letters to the editor section fares no better. I wish newspapers would start a good news of the day section for readers who want to start their day on a good note.
July 9, 2011 9:13 pm
NGO's cannot and should not run a country. One reason perhaps why the government does not feel involved as NGO's are providing the resources for things that the state of Pakistan should do. But in a country where a large section of the bureaucracy and politicians work on the ratio of 100% greed and 0% competence the NGO's tend to fill in an essential void. Perhaps there is a need for a new type of NGO that will teach people to form small communes and start a drive for self-sufficiency and sustainability. But to the countless thousands in the NGOs themselves I must offer my salute. They have certainly made us all very proud and happy indeed.
July 9, 2011 9:27 pm
Good for you pakistan. Keep up the good work.
S M Shah
July 9, 2011 9:32 pm
Very commendable indeed sir. Please also mention that in Pakistan, in every town and village and in every corner of the country the tradition as practised by this country's Sufis Maizars and the Real Pir Sahibs of feeding those who visit the Maizars at least 3 times a day, continues and is thriving. the poor in any part of the country can count on being able to get food at the hundreds if not thousands of Maizars where devotees and non-devotees alike can take advantage of a fine religious tradition. the same religious tradition so disliked by our new liberal and conservative middle classes. Jivay Pakistan
July 9, 2011 9:49 pm
well done Pakistani/survey was done in Pakistan ask people would you like to donate to charities or pay tax 90% people believe in charities and do not trust there government.think if we have honest government people will give tax.GOD BLESS OUR PAKISTAN.NO MATTER WHAT I BELONG THERE.
Tariq K Sami
July 9, 2011 10:07 pm
What an amazing article. Also thanks for the many postings listing other NGO's. Personally I was very impressed By Dr Bari Khan Dow Medical College who does free Cardiac surgery and the Indus Hospital Karachi. Also due credit to the Poor Patients Society Civil Hospital and the Alumni of Dow Medical College.
Shakeel Ahmed
July 9, 2011 10:09 pm
It's a shame there was no reference to Pakistan's largest NGO's. Up and down the country maddarsahs and darbars and providing people shelter and meals, as well as Islamic teaching. There is a constant langar at places like Data darbar, all fisabililah.Maddarsahs especially (who have taken a beating to their reputation due to the abuse of a few) take in young children, provide them with education, shelter and food. All of these institutes are run by charitable donations, 99% of that money comes from the poor awam of Pakistan. Let us not overlook these noble efforts, just because they are not seen to be as trendy.
Tariq K Sami
July 9, 2011 10:10 pm
Sometimes it happens. Its just a slip. Yes indeed. Aga Khan Foundation is probably the biggest.
July 9, 2011 10:45 pm
" Guinness Book of Records in providing shelter to battered women " ... But why are there so many battered women that the largest fleet of workers is required to help them
Adil Jadoon
July 10, 2011 12:46 am
It is nice to give ing.to the poor but the poor seem to wait for the freebies rathr than earning a living for themselves. Stop begging and start reading and working.
Fauzi Mahmood
July 10, 2011 12:47 am
Even after so much of aid and good organisation, why there are so many people living in worst conditions. So in the end, begging do not help. So stop all such hypocracy and consentrate on jobs.
Nasier sheikh
July 10, 2011 12:58 am
why can't our tv channels ,who havenothing elese do do except talking sbout negatively ,get to spend some time in introducing the good work being done by some affluent pakistanies who prefer not to propagate about their good work and generosity .this will certainly give a positive signal to people who go not ever get to hear about Pakistan or it's people.
Z. Hasan
July 10, 2011 1:26 am
Another one.. Child Aid Association (CAA) at National Institute of Child Health (NICH), Karachi. The question is why do we need so many NGO's?
S. Rangamani
July 10, 2011 1:32 am
Weel written, feel-good and informative article. Made the day seem much better
mirza nazir hossain
July 10, 2011 2:15 am
It is no wonder that such persons and organisations have brought whiff of insaniyat to our country and God has rewarded us,otherwise we have forfeited our right to exist in this world.God bless!! rewarded us, otherwise we donot have the right to exist in this world.God bless all such people!!
amir ayaz
July 10, 2011 2:47 am
love to hear that their is stive omeone like us who realy care and willing to write about the positive stuffs , keep searching for positive , may allah give you long life Asif
July 10, 2011 3:01 am
Someone should compile a list of all charitable NGO's in Pakistan, a small intro and their website, contact info, etc., and post it on the web. A sort of one-stop shop for people looking to donate.
July 10, 2011 3:45 am
Agreed, though I think it was more of an oversight than any thing else. This was a good effort to bring out the positives about Pakistan.
July 10, 2011 3:58 am
TV Channels are right to show what is actually going on in Pakistan.The way we are going forward ,whole Pakistan will be run by charities and donors day by day instead of any planner or government.
sajjad barket
July 10, 2011 4:32 am
Wonderful article! Finally somebody decided to write something positive about this young and beautiful country. I am a 50 year old man and I had tears in my eyes. Habib family in Karachi, Pakistan has been helping its community for decades. It has provided food, shelter and education to thousands and thousands of under privileged families and my family is one of them.
July 10, 2011 4:46 am
There is also the free six-monthly eye camp held by Darulehsan, Faisalabad, which treats the opthalmic ailments of some 10,000 patients each time.
Moaz Sharif
July 10, 2011 5:06 am
A great article, We must keep looking at the bright sides of pakistan and Pakistanis. I love you man, please keep up this effort.
waseem asad
July 10, 2011 5:18 am
well this is avery good news to hear,i would like to mention the name of a foundation who is helping the poor students alot thats is Karavan e ilm foundation,,work done by them is throughout pakistan and supurb work.
July 10, 2011 5:28 am
Definitely mention of aga khan foundation and network is warranted. it is also a part of the same network that has given pakistan its best medical school.
July 10, 2011 6:20 am
It will be a great service if someone could develop a central directory of all registered charity organizations and make it available on net.
Shaukat USA
July 10, 2011 6:23 am
Couuldn't agree more.
July 10, 2011 6:55 am
In all this feel-good euphoria about world records, has the author questioned why such a grave situation that exists wherein NGOs are the only means to reach out to poor people, where government and civil societies have abdicated their responsibilities, where budget allocations do not allow for natural expenditures and cap ex to alleviate poverty and provide health care. It is not a good sign to see so many NGOs needed to do what the government or commercial organizations should have done/ addressed. It is like feeling good about having the maximum number of hungry people in the world or a world record in maximum number of people with diseases - nothing to crow about.
Irshad Ali
July 10, 2011 7:02 am
Spend in the way of Allah and He will give you much more. This Quranic injunction makes Pakistanis such large hearted individuals.
Assad hameed
July 10, 2011 7:24 am
Oh that is really good job is done by these foundations ,
salim bakali
July 10, 2011 7:36 am
its state responsibilty to look after the welfare of its people. govt. and politician should be ashamed of themselves,but then they are bunch of crooks and bae- ghairats
Ejaz Ahmed ( New Yor
July 10, 2011 8:40 am
Thank you for some good news. I invite all those Pakistanis who live in USA and abroad to give their Zakat money and donations to these non profitable orgtanizations who are doing excellent job. If all muslims of Pakistan honestly take out the zakat money and give to the deserving people then I am sure a lot of our problems will be solved. Ramadan is just around the corner and I encourage all our brothers and sisters who have money, please spend your money, pay zakat honestly, pay charity and help the poor and the needy. Real happiness is in helping the poor and the needy. May Allah reward you.
haroon bux
July 10, 2011 9:11 am
Its all well and good to talk about the orgs who are doing good work for the public. The reality is that these orgs are doing the job of the Pakistani Government. In addition Pakistani Government will be happy with more of such orgs like these to come up because the public will go to these orgs instead of the Government. Why don't we work to change the Government along with the corrupt system which legitimizes their corrupt? that way we do not need to NGO's(foreign and domestic) to operate in Pakistan. Food for thought.
Aleem Khan
July 10, 2011 9:16 am
A very good article indeed. I believe that our media, by promoting such good deeds, can help attract more of the priviliged people towards such activities. These people must be appreciated.
Dr. M. H. Keshvani,
July 10, 2011 9:40 am
Excellent and knowledgeable article though many organizations and foundations have been left out and have been already pointed out. Many foundations run because of donations. I think our media and our press Should give free time and space requesting for donations. I am sure we can rise as one unit to help these organisations which help millions of people.
Jawaid Ekram
July 10, 2011 9:48 am
Great article Asif. I know living in US how our felow Pakistani's are allways open with their heart in helping felow citizen. The giving comes from our cluture and our religion. I am very optimistic about Pakistan. We are going through few bumps but with so many good people in Pakistan we will over comes our current short coming.
July 10, 2011 10:02 am
Agha Khan Foundation is not a real charity org. The orga. descriminate the population. Ismailis get the most of the foundation money. According to the concept of charity in islam and christianity, one can no take sides. From democratic concept and practice in modern world it is against tax law to decriminate, since Agha Khan has received free land from govt. of pakistan/ tax money.
July 10, 2011 10:08 am
Nice to read these positive sentiments. Lot of us also want to express best wishes & successes for the people of India.
July 10, 2011 10:22 am
Great article, a few more to remember are CARE run by Seema Aziz, Sahara by Abrar and most of all Ali Trust that runs a free bus service in Islamabad on Kashmir highway. CARE has performed a remarkable task of adopting a large number of government schools in Lahore and turning them around. A very encouraging aspect is that a number of these NGOs are professionally managed and are training a few generations of young, competent managers. This will be the efficient "bureaucracy" of 21st century.
July 10, 2011 11:47 am
Mr Asif!! Well done i just felt like crying when i read the article.It is only because of these noble acts, charity and other things that Pakistan is surviving or else we would have been doomed. I have heard Pakistanis are number two in the world in giving donations and charity.Inshallah the day is not far when we would be hearing good things about our country.There are many hidden hands who do not want to be named doing welfare work quietly.As regards our electronic media I have stooped watching them as they are rubbish.Please write more about good things of our country,their is plenty of it.
sridhar subramonyan
July 10, 2011 12:26 pm
Thank you for this very informative article about Pakistani NGOs. The media should bring out more and more of such articles that depict the postive aspects of Pakistan society. Pakistan is a country of very talented people. But Paikstan like many countries does not have good leadership to lead the country. Once they have a proper leadership in place, I am sure they can emerge as a very successful nation. My best wishes to all of you in Pakistan.
July 10, 2011 1:05 pm
I wish there was a like button to these comments!! :)
July 10, 2011 1:20 pm
Its not its people, Its the political leaders of Pakistan and Pakistan Army is to be blamed for the current condition of the state. great job Mr. Asif. potential to become a Modern progressive country is endless.
M. Asghar
July 10, 2011 2:40 pm
The article shows the depth of the people's devoted generosity towards others. To make the things even better, the civil sociey has to get rid of tribal and feudal Zardaris, Gilanis and Sharifs with the help of the heroic judiciary.
July 10, 2011 3:11 pm
Its a sad problem that bad news is what the public seem to want to read, as opposed to good news. Its the same in the UK. There is too much emphasis on bad news by far, much of it because the journalists often don't understand the issues themselves. So they can hardly pass on real information to the public. I think Journalistic standards need to rise. After which we will get a better and more accurate balance between good and bad news.
Ali Mubarakmand
July 10, 2011 3:50 pm
Excellent work sir. We should not forget that there are many Pakistanis who love Pakistan and back it up with there breath taking work. I no that we are facing a dark phase in our countrys history but really we need to pull our selves together and protect this nobel land.
July 10, 2011 4:14 pm
In this times of strife, hatred and violence, this one is a very refreshing article. A hope for all of us that some day, we will stop hating each other - for no valid reasons; and rejuvenate a positive attitude towards living in a society!! Cheers Noorani saab! Mumbai, India
July 10, 2011 4:53 pm
have heard Pakistanis are number two in the world in giving donations and charity........western countries donate far more. And do not forget Bill gates and Warren Buffet. And jews are famous fortheir charity work.
Tariq Khawaja
July 10, 2011 5:00 pm
Thank you very much Mr. Sridhar for you wishes about Pakistan. We really appreciate it...!!!
Nisar Ahmed
July 10, 2011 5:04 pm
Daal Roti is a friends & family initiative to fight "Bhook" of the needy around us in Pakistan. Description We- the affluent & privileged have a responsibility to help our under privileged and poor daily wager brothers & sisters in their fight against "Bhook". We must cut some of our crazy consumption/spending & donate food regularly in a convenient & persistent way. "Daal Roti" is a friend & family network initiative to feed the needy every day. In "Daal Roti" a friend & or any one in the network can pick a day in a month and donate 3,000 PKR. BRANDACT (activation company) will arrange the food & will distribute approximately 100 meals of Rice/Daal roti in a daily wager density area on that day every month. BRANADCT will not charge any man power costs for its distribution.
July 10, 2011 5:20 pm
We need NGO Courts and Police to tackle the Politicians presently sitting in the assemblies, senate, buracts advisors, and heads of government corporations not charity NGO. Charity NGO are allowing the Politicians etc. to plunder more
Nida Zubair
July 10, 2011 5:27 pm
Great Initiative ....how can one contribute ?
Nasser Ali Khan
July 10, 2011 6:07 pm
1. It is nice to read a positive article about Pakistan, the Pakistani media being at fault for not people to be made aware of such positive aspects of Pakistanis who do something for their society - they may be a small minority but they do exist and do much good. Such positive articles create more positivity. 2. With the growth of internet networking, all such articles should encourage readers to give donations via zakat etc on a regular basis (most efficiently through bank direct debits). Small but regular is better than larger but ad hoc payments. 3. Charities are of various types and all types are needed. However, most effective are those which ENABLE beneficiaries to better their lot through education and income-generation projects. May Allah guide Pakistanis, Ameen!
July 10, 2011 6:49 pm
It is good to see so much going on, however, why do we remain a poor and down rodden nation? Reason is simple. 2% of the population pay taxes and that doesn't include the (not so)Sharifs of Lahore, Zardaris and Gilanis. Also, we lack decent primary education - just in case our young grow up and exercise their right to self determination. Also for all those charities that operate truly and honestly there are also so many crooks. I wish there could be such a body as the charities commission in the UK that audits and monitors activity of those who contribute, however, I'm scared in Pakistan that will just turn into another racket run by the Government. It was telling that the Presidents fund was a complete flop last year during the floods. Those who rip off the poor or charities will get what they deserve in their 'kubbur'. For my own part I donate only to Pakistan and then again only to Edhi. We all have to do our bit and hope the leaches and vultures of the so called political classes stay away .....
San Sar
July 10, 2011 7:13 pm
A really wonderful article. But what need was there to start it with something "bad" about India? How different are you from the TV anchors whom you accuse of being jingoistic? Was it just to get the initial attention of your reader? Bemoan if you must the biased TV coverage of the Pakistani media, but by 'casually' dropping in the same (and you are right about poor news coverage here) about India you are leaving yourself open to be accused of an anti-India bias. After all there was nothing about the good work that many Indian NGOs also do. This is no different from some other writers (Jawed Naqwi being a prime example) who use exactly the same tactic. If it is to cater to an anti-Indian readership, then you have achieved your purpose, otherwise you let youself down. Frankly, your opening detracted from an otherwise wonderful article.
Rukhsana Zafar
July 11, 2011 9:27 am
The article acted as a silver lining in the darkness that we, the Pakistanis normally see around us, we still have hope!
July 11, 2011 9:36 am
May i suggest why Edhi Foundation has been able to carry out such wonderful work?It is certainly because they have kept 'free religious sermons' out!And isn't it true that their work make you Pakistanis proud. "Silent waters run deep".Also, "Empty vessels make loud noise".The religious parties should be ashamed of themselves.They preach religion to the whole world, but themselves practise it not!
Asif Noorani
July 11, 2011 12:13 pm
My friend, you didn't read the first paragraph carefully. I said the Pakistan TV channels were doing the same. Also if I had been anti-India, I would not have mentioned the generous contribution that the famous writer Shobhaa De made to the cause of education in Pakistan. Incidentally, I have been accused of being an Indian agent all the time because I have been praising it where it's due and now I have been termed as anti-India. I am a citizen of the world, who was born in India but has spent more than half a century in Pakistan, which is why sometimes after reading my book Tales of Two Cities which I coauthored with a senior Indian journalist Kuldip Nayar (Roli Books, New Delhi) people say both the co-authors have divided loyalties for he also leads a peace movement. Do read the book if you can.
July 11, 2011 1:00 pm
A really wonderful article. I have often wondered why in our e media we get bad news? There is a lot of positive work being done, both in India & pakistan, why that is not reported? I had told a friend that if I had money & can open a channel, then it will report only positive news, that is like "chicken soup for soul".. She laughed & said, well, nobody would be interested & your TRP will be less & you will close down. Haven't you heard, that if a boat ferries 100 passangers a day, it is not a news, but if it sinks it is "Breaking News". I hope that at least News papers can devote at least a section for such news at least on a weekly manner, if not daily. In today's world fraught with bombings & killings, that will be like an oasis.
Manish A
July 11, 2011 1:57 pm
A nice article, however would like to know if non muslims in Pakistan are also beneficial from these charities...it is sad to see the status of minorities in Pakistan where there nos. have dwindled considerably..
Sher Zaman
July 11, 2011 1:58 pm
Philanthropy is without conditions. All the religious charities and philanthropists have their hidden agendas, while Edhi foundation has no such agenda. I hope and wish that our religious bigots learn something from Mr. Edhi and his foundation.
Leena R
July 11, 2011 3:09 pm
Great article!!! This is our true Dilemma... Our mass media is highlighting the negativities iteratively and that's how our perceptions are being developed. The positive side is unseen, unheard. We can not deny the insurgance and accute problems of law and order, but we need a balanced approach, highlighting the positive sides, to make our beliefs firm in ourselves and our nation.
Asif Noorani
July 11, 2011 3:13 pm
I don't know of any charity which refuses to help non-Muslims. Anyone can go to hospitals, schools, or places where free meals are served, no one enquires about the religious affiliations. So much so that Akhuwat which gives interest free loans in a mosque in Lahore welcomes non-Muslims there too. I was told that in the days of the Prophet Christians, Jews and even heathens went to meet him in the mosque. I don't say that minorities are in enviable condition but the situtaion is not as bad as it is painted abroad, except for the Ahmedis, who suffer more than any other religious group.
parveez UK
July 11, 2011 3:17 pm
A very good idea, I am sure a lot of people will like to help, sure I will. We can get students and other Pakistani brothers and sisters (from abroad) to give time and money.
July 11, 2011 6:07 pm
A very good article, but unfortunately these organizations do work in big cities no one cares about the population living in villages.
July 11, 2011 10:38 pm
David, dollar/Euro has higher value.. so if taken as percentage of their average income Pakistan might be one of the top countries.. Selani Welfare Trust in karachi offers free food to poors made of Mutton(most expensive meat) for free.
indian soul
July 11, 2011 11:13 pm
why only pakistanis.... we (indians) are also with such NGOs who are working for humanity, no matter where.
Anis Zuberi
July 12, 2011 3:50 am
Some have entered rural areas as well. Baanh Beli is one, which operates in the remotest areas of Thar
Iqbal Samad Khan
July 13, 2011 1:02 am
There is an Organization by the name of Rashid Memorial Welfare Organization hardly 200 Kms from Karachi on the Hyderabad - Mirpurkhas Highway. It has brought together the synergy of LRBT, The Citizens Foundation, Honerkada and many others in one place on a Project spread over 100 acres! A School for the Deaf is coming up and we have a Charitable Hospital too along with two Mobile Dispensaries, a Gyane Ward, Fatmid Foundation has a big facility, Soup Kitchens, Ten Non-formal Schools in a 15 Km radius, a Vocational Training Center for Girls, A Public School with 100 Zakat deserving students on board and last but not least an Orphanage which we call AMZI Home with 80 boys (Orphans) from all over Pakistan who live like small time princes. Do come some day Mr. Noorani and we'll be there to accord you the warmest of welcomes and give you the greatest of surprises!! Iqbal Samad Khan Chief Volunteer Rashidabad
Noal -- Toronto
July 13, 2011 1:07 am
David, The population in the west compared to that in Pakistan is peanuts. We put out donations in Toronto to the Toronto Food Bank by a few cans of this and that. That feeds our hungry brothers and sisters in the city. However, for a population in Karachi, it will takes some 100 times more to feed the poor there. have you heard of any western organisation lending money without interest?
Gul Mohammed
July 13, 2011 3:22 am
I believe Pakistan and specially in Karachi there are more Catholic Schools, Parsi Schools then any where else, comparing India there are less religious riots, I remember when I was young our Hindu friends took us to their Mandeer to how they celebrate Diwali etc. Atleast I know of Edhi Foundation or Shoukat Khanum Foundation or any other charity will ever discriminate non muslims that will be against the teaching of Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him)
pawan singh
July 13, 2011 1:30 pm
asif sir, you are absolutely right, media is very much responsible for all these anti india and anti pakistan affairs
Syed Atif Ali
July 14, 2011 1:26 pm
M. Uzair Sukhera
July 18, 2011 8:42 am
Dear Entero. Religious parties are also involved in many wonderful projects all across the Pakistan. Problem with those guys is that they are not that much tech-savvy and do not care to put up their projects online. This does not mean that they are unsuccessful or not contributing to Pakistan at all. Moreover a fair share of donations to Edhi trust are in form of Zakat - a religiously mandated charity. So your conclusion is not supported by facts. There are equally well organized charity networks which are motivated by religious principles and you certainly can not term them a failure since they do not have any accounting, trust, corruption problems and most importantly they deliver to common people.
July 18, 2011 1:17 pm
Well there are organizations which provide a lot of assistance to non-muslims and I haven't any discrimination on the basis of religion. Though there are problems we accept them we dont hide them or ignore them by distracting the world or people from it. Just to let you know Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa has the largest number of minorities as you can see sikhs, ismailies and kailashi there. Also in Balochistan you'll find large number of Hindus in civil service and businesses than anyother province. If you are comparing the condition of minorities in Pakistan with minorities in India then I must say travel to Pakistan and see it by your self.
Munir Ahmed Ansari
July 19, 2011 9:54 am
A very nice Article, request our name is recorded correctly as The Hunar Foundation
shahid malik
July 20, 2011 11:09 am
just read what Iqbal Samad wrote about Rashidabad they are doing remarkable job in rural Pakistan.
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