Thursday June 20, 2024

Of a US-based Chitrali couple and their generosity

By Shah Murad Baig
May 02, 2020

CHITRAL: Though the Chitrali business couple Rooziman Shah and Nighat Akbar Shah have been living and doing business in the US for many years, they maintain close ties to their native Chitral.

When they learned that Pakistan had sealed all entry points to the mountainous Chitral valley to protect the citizens from Covid-19, they knew many of them would need provisions. “The Chitralis are very disciplined and law-abiding citizens who are doing their part to fight this pandemic,” Shah said and went on to explain that their remote geographic location made their situation difficult. From a distance of 7,400 miles, Shah planned a relief initiative, enlisted help, and saw that it was carried out in just a little over a week. She contacted Abdul Akbar, former Member of District Council who offered to help her store and distribute items for 400 families.

She also enlisted the active support of her relative, Dr Shahid Shamsi who agreed to recruit, organize, and oversee a team of volunteers that included friends, family, and members of local organizations. Shah also reached out to Noon Zaman, the CEO of Korum Ghar, a prominent Pakastani retail and delivery company that is known for its social responsibility. Zaman offered to personally oversee the packaging and delivery of the relief goods.

“We all need to do our part and help in times of need,” Shah says, adding. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my family and dedicated volunteers from the area.” In addition to choosing the content of the relief packages with care, they included staples such as rice, flour, sugar, chana daal, and soap while great care was also taken to ensure both social distancing and confidentiality.

Rather than inviting the recipients to show up at a central location to claim their packages, goods were dropped off on their doorsteps and no photos were taken of the people who accepted help, and they weren’t asked to provide any personal information.