• Islamic charities most effective in relief activities

      August 26, 2010
      Print : Peshawar

      PESHAWAR: The Islamic charities have proved to be the most effective in the relief activities for the flood-affected people as they have a sizeable number of volunteers, well-connected organizational structure at the grassroots level across the country and, more significantly, enjoy the trust of philanthropists and well-off people who generously donate in cash and kind in their funds.

      The most effective among the Islamic charities are the Jamaat-e-Islami-run Al-Khidmat Foundation, the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation, which is linked with the Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Besides, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Ummah Welfare Trust, Al-Qasim Foundation and other religious bodies are also busy in the relief activities leaving other non-governmental organizations far behind.

      According to the provincial chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Prof Mohammad Ibraheem Khan, three stages were involved in the relief and rehabilitation process of the flood affected people including rescue, relief and rehabilitation. He said the rescue was beyond the capacity and capabilities of the non-governmental bodies, as they didn’t have boats or helicopters. It was the responsibility of the government, which was equipped with the required facilities but it failed to carry out an effective rescue operation.

      The non-governmental bodies, he said, did their best in rescuing the stranded people. Regarding the relief activities, he said the non-governmental bodies particularly Al-Khidmat and other religious organizations were leading these activities. “It would be responsibility of the government to rehabilitate the affected people as the non-governmental organizations don’t have enough resources to reconstruct houses and other infrastructure,” said Prof Ibraheem.

      Busy in 15 flood-affected districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Al-Khidmat Foundation according to the statistics compiled by its media cell has rescued 46907 flood-affected people. The document revealed that 10,278 volunteers were taking active part in the relief activities across the province. The foundation has set up 45 relief and six residential camps across the province where 10,525 people were given temporary accommodation.

      A total of 208 medical camps were set up in the flood-stricken districts where 83,400 affected people were provided treatment. Cooked food has been distributed among 0.25 million so far, while 23,046 packages were distributed among 161,322 families, the handout stated.

      It further said that 387 ambulances and vehicles were busy in providing transportation facility to the marooned people and 116,750 people had benefited from this facility so far.

      Nine dewatering pumps have cleansed 525 houses, drinking water has been provided to 402,865 people, some 2,000 kitchen utensils sets have been distributed among the affected people, clothes and shoes were provided to 38,817 people and 1,764 tents were distributed among the affected people, the 15-page document said.

      Much discussed in the international media, the Falah-i-Insaniat is another major contributor in the relief activities. Mian Adil, central deputy chairman of the organization, told The News that it started the rescue and relief activities since the first day of the calamity. He said that their 3,000 volunteers were busy in providing assistance to the flood-affected people in all the flood-hit areas of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and elsewhere in the country.

      He said they had provided cooked food to around 0.2 million people and ration had been distributed among another 100,000 affected people. He said they were also providing medical facilities and ambulance service to the affected.

      Atiq Chohan, provincial spokesman for the organisation, said that they had set up a tent village at Pir Sabak in Nowshera district where 137 families had been provided accommodation. Also, the organisation had arranged toilets for women living in tents on the GT Road and Motorway, he added. He said well-off people from across the country were giving them generously for relief activities.

      The former and present students and teachers of Lal Masjid, Islamabad, are also taking active part in the relief activities under the banner of Al-Qasim Foundation. They have set up their base camp at the Rashakai Interchange of Motorway from where food packages are distributed among flood-affected people.