On Jan 28th the OffroadPakistan headed off to Hingol for three days of offroading, camping and exploring the wildreness of Hingol National Park heading upstream to a location called Poldat. Here produced is a short and fun video produced by Khizer Rashid
Dr. Awab Alvi, a member of Offroad Pakistan, a 4×4 adventure group, tells us how they have helped the flood affected in the Sindh region of Pakistan. They have refurbished a pediatric ward and are looking for volunteer doctors and a constant supply of medicine to maintain the ward
OffroadPakistan team would like to thank Nishat Welfare Organization [A. Sattar Ishaqani] and Naari Development Organization [Dr Meher Zaidi] for helping us to distribute over 1000 winter clothes hampers in the regions of Dadu and Juhi. The OffroadPakistan was able to identify the need to supply flood relief to Dadu [Nishat Welfare Organization] and also in Juhi [Naari Development Organization] in both places we were able to send winter clothes, kitchen utensils, food and water for families housed in these areas. Pictures are followed
An interview of mine published on TEDBlog on Friday November 5th 2010, just sharing it here for reference. This interview also included a new interactive feature for TEDFellows facebook page where a question was put up for discussion, the question asked from this interview was “Why do you think there’s a lack of media coverage about what’s going on in Pakistan, and how do you think we should change it?”
For years, orthodontist Awab Alvi has been an outspoken political activist via his blog, Teeth Maestro. With the onset of disastrous flooding in his native Pakistan this July, Awab traveled to the front lines, delivering food and supplies to flood victims. Though the after effects of the floods have caused personal family tragedy, Awab’s fierce love for and faith in his country make him optimistic about the future.
Just a follow up on the Shikarpur Pediatric Ward, Umair Jaffer prepared a short PDF file on the before and after pictures of the work done at the Shikarpur pediatric ward as a collaborative effort between OffroadPakistan and CDRS-Shine Humanity. The older three wards were revamped by OffroadPakistan and we also took the burden of setting up and stocking the free medical dispensary, CDRS team took the initiative of setting up two brand new wards nearby, seeing these pictures one does get a proud feeling, that with proper team work we can seriously make a difference
A team of offroadpakistan headed to Shikarpur this last weekend to oversee the restoration of the Pediatric Ward at the Civil Hospital Shikarpur, Khalid Omar and Sabiha Omar represented us for the four days to supervise the total cleanup and painting of the three existing wards which included repair of the existing beds, the installation of insecutors in each of the wards and the cleaning up of the lavatories in the building, amongst a host of other things. They also oversaw the setup of the medical dispensary which is to provide free medicines for the patients for the next three to six months. Some of the older pictures can be seen here while our video appeal can be watched here
Faisal Kapadia compiles a short video of our Medical Camp at Moro – Mission #8. I too am surprised at the impressive impact we have had on the flood relief
PK RELIEF STATS:
- 8 relief missions,
- 47,500 people given with 5-days of food,
- 25,000 people fed with ready to eat food,
- 480 families provided with tents,
- 1500 families given clothes hampers &
- 1000 people treated in our one day medical camp
The Offroadpakistan team this week embarked on a medical relief mission to Moro and Dadu. The plans for a Medical camp had been taking place since the start of the flood effort, but our initial focus was on providing food and shelter as in the first phase of the disaster that was the basic need of the victims, by the last trip few trips it had become clear that the initial impact of the flood is now beyond us, water had started to stagnate and recede and it was now imperative to refocus our strategy and aim on providing medical relief in the same areas.
Our plan was to concentrate on organizing a medical camp, but felt the need to also cater to food and clothes so effort was made to prepare 1000 food hampers, 1100 clothes hampers [which contained one shalwar kameez for men, one three-piece suit for women, one pair of clothes for boys and one more pair of clothes for girls, two soap suds for clothes washing, two for personal hygiene soaps, a womens hygiene kit, a small hand fan and a few other items all packed by a brilliant team of women], we had also arranged for 120 cartons of medicines acquired for roughly for the cost of Rs. 3 lac, compared to the budget set out for our medical camp, we were able collect massive quantity of medicines as our pharmaceutical help cam from Ehsan Awan of Nawan Labs who personally saw the acquiring of generic low cost drugs for the same aliments, truly helping us target a larger number of people within the same allocated budget. Our guestimate was to have enough drugs to cater to at least 500 patients during the medical camp.
The OffroadPakistan team boarded a Pakistan Air Force C-130 aircraft this last week to deliver over 1200 food hampers to the flood affected victims of Jacobabad. Jacobabad has been cut off from relief work due to the inaccesbility of teh Jacobabad-Shikarpur road and the only possible way to access this area is to be airlifted to the PAF in Jacobabad.
The offroadPakistan has previoulsy tried to reach jacobabad by road but was unable to do so, and when offered an opportunity to board one of the daily C-130’s to this stranded area, we seized the opportunity. Delivered relief to over 1200 families along the Behari Canal which has barely not received any aid for quite many days.
Over the past two days our team of volunteers at Motorsports Club of Pakistan and the OffroadPakistan have been in some intense discussion on what might be the best course of action. We have been busy raising funds locally and commitments have reached to a tune of close to Rs. 2.5 million. The online drive at SARelief has touched $2278 from a few generous donors, as the message spreads im sure this easy PayPal payment option, so close to the Islamic month of Ramadan will most likely get a considerable level of funding for the devastation in Pakistan.
Flood has started to reach Sindh from the last two days, the winding Indus river which curves and twists across Sindh is likely to significantly change the terrain for a long time to come, it is anticipated that with the immense pressure of the water it is definite that the water will overrun the pre charted course of the Indus River and alter its embankments cutting a new course towards the sea spreading its wings wide across the plains of Sindh in its due course.
A few major concerns do remain, the question that lurks in the minds of many, will the barrages hold up. It seems the Sukkur barrage is as of now holding strong, credit can be equated to calculated and unplanned rupture of a few embankments upstream which have helped soften the pressure of the main flood, these leaks will continue to seep the pressure and lessen the impact in sindh, sadly it also does mean more flooding in the affected areas.
The earthquake’s that have hit Pakistan in 2005 and 2008 were regarded as the worst tragedy for the nation. Few have realized that the recent floods have in fact caused more damage then those earthquake’s did. As per latest reports official figures stand at 1600 dead and 12 million left homeless.
The Monsoon rains began two weeks ago and have washed away roads, bridges and communications lines, hampering rescue efforts by aid organizations and the government. The downpours have grounded many aircraft trying to rescue people and ferry aid, including six helicopters manned by US troops on secondment from Afghanistan.
Currently 30,000 Pakistan Army troops are busy in rescue and relief efforts. Where as the Earthquake of 2005 and 2008 and the IDP crisis were devastating, unlike the Flooding they were contained within a geographic area. Flooding has been reported from Kyhber-Pakthunkwa all they way down to Southern Punjab and Sindh. There is only so much the government and the armed forces can do in the face of such a massive disaster and so we as citizens have undertaken the mantle of trying to add our little drop to the ocean
To that end, we have decided to take up relief efforts to the areas of Sindh in an attempt to help bring relief to the suffering. The idea is initially to partner with a team of who is willing to take the relief goods up. We hope to launch such an intiative with Motorsports Club of Pakistan and our very own OffroadPakistan group to some part of Sindh and personally deliver the goods there. To help our international donors we have partnered with SA Relief operating under the aiegus of Paksef a US Tax-deductible 501(c)(3) NGO registered in California to enable our US based well wishers to contribute to the relief via Chipin and Paypal
The online collection is slated to run through out Ramazan to tap into the generous Zakat giving ability of Muslims around the world, ideally this would mean two missions, one from the cash funds collected personally in Karachi while the second mission will utilize the generous contribution from online donations. It is my personal promise that all funds collected will be disbursed off in a total transparent manner as possible, all recipts and travel expenditures will be posted online for the world to see. Like the IDP Relief effort we did in 2009 here, here
Donations can be made directly into Behbood Association Karachiaccount at Standard Chartered in Karachi. A/C#08-2315386-01 [PakRs] Swift Code SCBLPKKXXX or even online on the widget provided above which is processed via Paypal and these online contributions are being collected by PAKISTAN SCIENCE & ENGINEERING FOUNDATION a 501(c)(3) registered California based not-for-profit organization, EIN# 20-2950808. For info contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Friday a few offroad enthusiasts headed off to Hingol National Park deep within Baluchistan some 280km from Karachi, reaching Aghore Camp we then dropped off the metaled Coastal Highway and headed into total offroading wilderness going up north some 40-odd km to a location called Poldat.
Poldat is a natural mountainous gorge which is the passageway of the Hingol river from the north to the south, many of Hingol’s tributaries aggregate ahead of this region and pass through this natural gorge to finally dump into the Arabian Sea. In all likelihood this mountainous passageway cannot be traversed by any vehicle and hence the offroaders took this up as a challenge to try and reach this remote destination. We were able to drive up to about a kilometer short of Poldat and trekked the rest of the way up.
I share here some pictures from our expedition while a 20-minute podcast was posted on Laidback Show website. I also choose to share detailed GPS tracks in the form of a KMZ file for easy open reference if someone in the future might be tempted to head this way
Show notes after the jump
As part of yet another offroad expedition the Offroad Pakistan group headed to the Sorh Valley in Baluchistan to enjoy the challenges that the terrain could throw at our vehicles. A group of about 40-odd enthusiasts packed themselves in 17-odd offroading vehicles started this adventure on Friday morning and headed to Sorh, Baluchistan in the region of Bhootani Farms to return late Sunday night. Faisal Kapadia of Deadpanthoughts accompanied us on this adventure trip.
I share these pictures more as a testament that there is so much beauty yet to be discovered in Pakistan that its just feels sad that we are being compelled to write this beautiful country off to being labeled as a war ravaged country where adventure tourism is seen as a taboo