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March 14, 2021

US-based charity to establish rehabilitation centre in Karachi for people with disabilities

Karachi

March 14, 2021

A rehabilitation and research centre is being established by a United States-based Islamic charitable organisation, Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD), in the outskirts of Karachi and it will be the largest rehab facility for the mentally- and physically-disabled people in Pakistan.

This was stated by Dr Mohsin Ansari, an eminent pediatrician practising in Maryland, US, and serving as the chairman of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and its overseas charity wing HHRD for last several years, as he addressed a news conference at the Karachi Press Club on Saturday.

The US-based paediatrician is currently on a visit to Pakistan. “We are spending $10 million on the establishment of a state-of-the-art rehabilitation centre and hospital for the treatment of neurological diseases and rehabilitation of physically- and mentally-disabled people and children in Karachi. This centre would be a gift for the people of Karachi and the rest of Sindh from Muslims in America,” Dr Ansari said.

This would not be the first project of the HHRD in Pakistan as the charity organisation was already running the Helping Hand Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences (HHIRS) in Mansehra, which is a constituent college of the Riphah International University Islamabad (RIU), Dr Ansari said, adding that a small clinic started in the northern areas of Pakistan after the earthquake in a tent had now grown into Pakistan’s finest college that offered a five-year doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree programme and several other courses.

He, however, explained that the rehabilitation institute being established in Karachi, which has been named as Karachi Institute of Neurological Diseases and Rehabilitation Centre (KIND), would be Pakistan’s biggest rehabilitation and research centre. The paediatrician promised that all the health needs of physically- and mentally- disabled people and children would be met at the rehab centre.

He said they had launched the project in 2017 with $10 million and it was moving in the right direction. Pakistan was one of the leading recipients of the donations of the American Muslims and the organisation carried out relief and development activities in 52 Islamic countries of the world, he added.

“The Helping Hand for Relief and Development is the overseas charity wing of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), which is carrying out relief and development work in 52 countries of the world and the charitable organisation spends $500 million annually for alleviating sufferings of ailing humanity,” he said.

“We annually spend Rs1.5 billion in Pakistan in charitable work, especially in the fields of health, education, nutrition, safe drinking water and some others sectors. This time, we have established a reverse osmosis plant for provision of safe drinking water at a health facility in Karachi while we are working for the establishment of the rehabilitation centre of the disabled persons in Karachi to make them useful citizens of society,” Dr Ansari stated.

He remarked that many of the US-based Pakistani Muslims, including him, were originally from Karachi and they had studied from educational institutions in the city and now they felt that it was the time to repay the city which enabled them to become successful persons. “We are not here to beg for money. We have arrived here to spend the money which Allah Almighty has given us to ease the sufferings of our Muslim brethren,” he said.

Sharing details of the activities of ICNA in the US, Dr Ansari said that with the support of thousands of American Muslims, they had reached out to over two million people in the lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic and provided them food, medicines and other necessities of life.

He claimed that ICNA was taking care of around 9,500 orphans in Pakistan with the help of American Muslims who supported at least one orphan. “Some of these children are now studying in medical colleges and other professional colleges in the country”, he added.

To a query, Dr Ansari said they did not discriminate between people on the basis of their religion, cast or race, and claimed that during the recent lockdown in Pakistan, a locality of Christians in the outskirts of Lahore was provided rations and grocery for months by the HHRD after they learnt that people of the locality were in trouble and had nothing to eat due to the lockdown.