Saturday, August 14, 2010

Let's Save Ourselves

“Where the government or the opposition felt was some lack of trust on part of nation and/or the international community”, was the question raised by a couple of journalists to PM Gilani and Nawaz Sharif. The reply as I expected was mere diplomatic play just reiterating and emphasizing the objectives of new commission being formed.

Whenever we want to amend our ways, we first acknowledge and accept our follies or whatsoever mistakes committed by us so far. Then we can proceed to work for improvement. Without realizing what our weak areas have been and fully acknowledging the mistakes committed by us in past, we cannot expect much improvement in any process whatsoever.

As citizens, all of us have our own reasons for distrust in government bodies and other agencies. Even if we ignore the financial crunch and recession, how can we trust those who have looted our nation for years? How could we easily forget the brilliant utilization of our money in “Qarz Utaro, Mulk Sanwaro Scheme”, the scandals of Steel Mill, the rampant corruption in each and every office of the state, the utterly shameless fake degree holders and those who have backed them? The wounds of 2005 earthquake have not healed yet and we know what government has done in rehabilitation of affected areas.

Now that government and opposition want to emerge as a hero again, we wanted them all to acknowledge, at least in between lines, that they have made mistakes; that they realize the BIG blatant black sheep (let’s ignore the normal anomalies) among them, and show clear intentions of their willingness to work for rehabilitation of affected areas without political point-scoring.  As any such part was missing in the press conference, the distrust is still there rather enhanced in degree.

The distrust is not solely on part of politicians. We have very few around us to trust. From and office clerk to the milkman all of us have been involved in blatant and unrestricted money-making without any respect for right and wrong. This dishonesty and corruption is biggest cause of distrust. This has been devastating our nation.

Now that we want to rise as a united nation again, we can make the process easier if each one of use contributes positively in the process. If we start caring a little for our own dignity and respect as humans; if we think of what Pakistan has given us and what we owe to our homeland; if we take our duties as responsible citizens once again, we can make the process of nation building faster. We must realize that if we fail to act now, the menaces like terrorism, insecurity and unemployment are not going to affect all of us for coming years.

What a relief it was to hear names of Rana Baghwan Das, Adeeb Rizvi and alike, some honest and dignified personalities whom our disgruntled nation could still trust. If we could simply forget our selfish interests for a while and follow footsteps of our own heroes, we could realize real independence and liberty. Independence always brings with itself responsibility. Let's start to believe again in the universal principles our honesty, hard work, courage and persistence. This message may not be new but it reiterates and embodies the essence of 14th August, our independence day. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Save a Life, Have a Juice …!!!

He was from our class. That was all I knew about him. He was searching for a blood donor. I knew my blood group matched but I had doubts. I had never donated before. I was weaker than a lot others around. Why did they not donate? What will my parents think about this? What if something wrong happens? I could create excuses. I could say look for someone else and keep me as the last options. That’s we what many of us go through when faced with donating blood. We may think donating blood as noble act. But when it comes to ourselves, we tend to pull ourselves away. I will say, this is our natural reaction.

I had a parallel thought at the same. He was a classmate going through the same tough routine and schedule as the rest of us. And now that he was in problem, he would naturally be looking to his family, friends and class for help. If I did not help him and make him look for other options, to what avail was my existence? And, I should have some solid reason to deny. I had none. Whatever I had read or heard said nothing bad about donating blood. And internally I wanted to provide some relief to my classmate right from the moment. There is a right time for everything. There is time to take decisions on your own. I have no words to define what courage is but that is what we need at times. The next thing I asked him was when will I be leaving with him to the hospital? Do you think I will ever be able forget the sigh of relief and the smile on the face?

The donation itself, depending upon the staff there, is normally an excellent experience. The medical staff tries best to make you feel normal. They may crack a joke with you at times. The worst possible part, if you want to explore for the heck of it, may be when they inject the needle into your arm. Do you really think it is something deadly? How many injections you have on your count? Perhaps, you never counted. You just lie there for few minutes while they arrange juice for you. That’s a tradition around us even in blood banks; they have drinks to offer you. No matter how much you resist, they won’t let skip that part of the exercise.

I have been through this exercise around half a dozen times now. By the way, I have never felt any weakness ever after a donation. . The only precaution to take is not to rush up when you are done. You should wait for a 5-10 minutes so that blood circulation is normal. Otherwise you may feel a little dizzy, nothing to be afraid of by the way. At the end, you are amongst the happy ones. You definitely relish those moments of real satisfaction. Just to put it for you, I have basically been a lazy freak with no regular exercise or play in my routine. My friends, once, timid like me have gone similar experiences. Often it started when someone real close to us was in dire need of blood. But gradually we learn it is a little sacrifice worth it. What can be better service than saving a life at the cost of almost nothing? No fears now.

It is normally a half-hour exercise overall once you enter the hospital and are ready to leave. Sometimes, according to specific scenario, you may have to wait. At times, they may decide not to bleed you. Once I was in Mew hospital and it the process took around 3 hours. Government hospitals are overcrowded here, you know. What a surprise at the end, they handed me the bag of my own warm blood so that I could deliver it to the patient. OMG..!!! I held my (one pint) warm and fresh blood in my own hands and made sure it was injected to the patient within 30 minutes of donations. Once a school headmaster took me all the way from hostel to hospital on his bike and shared with me how he had been struggling to save life of his son for whole last year.

Well friends, on a lighter note, when you know there will be refreshments at end of match, you are definitely tempted to play. Now that I assure you of drinks at the end, can I hope you will be urged, just a little may be, for this noble cause?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pakistan floods: Links to send donations, relief goods

Pakistan floods: Links to send donations, relief goods: "

Following is list of donation links, relief resources, organizations and individuals working to support flood victims of Pakistan, compiled from a facebook note Do you want to do your part in helping the Pakistani people displaced because of the recent flash flooding? Here is How ! Some details below:

Besides sending cash through below the organizations listed below, you can support by providing following commodities (please do not donate old/expired stuff. Make sure edible items are hygienic and properly packed):

* Clothing: Clothes of various sizes, Bedding, Shoes

* Utensils: Jerricans (large plastic cans that hold 20 liters of water or other liquids), Crockery, Buckets

* Toiletries: Tissues, Soaps, Dettol (antibacterial cleaners), Towels

* Food: Rice, Sugar, Flour (Atta), Onions, Potatoes, Cooking oil, Tea, Milk (tetra packs or powder), Safe drinking water, Cooked Food


1. Water purification tablets.

2. Life saving drugs.

3. Vaccines for malaria, cholera, typhoid, influenza.

4. Pain killers including strong ones like morphine derivatives, tremadol, pethadine, kinz .

5. Antibiotics e.g. tetnus, amoxil, gentamycin.

6. IV cannulas

7. IV Drip sets

8. IV drips: normal saline, ringerlactate

9. Local anesthetics (injections)

10. Cotton bandages, cotton.

11. Surgical instruments: e.g needle holders, forceps, tweezers.

12. Suturing materials, Skin staples.

In Pakistan:

  • Edhi Foundation: Donate here

  • Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation

    Title of Account: Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation

    Account #: 0030445261000455

    Name of Bank: MCB Bank (1028), Super Market, Islamabad-Pakistan

    Swift Code: MUCBPKKAMCC

    Tax Exemption: 6043/ATD/2008-09

  • The Volunteers/ Voice of the Civil Society: VOTCS – a registered (No. DSW 3369-K) welfare organization in Pakistan, operating as a Non-Profit, Public Charity in the North America, Inc. – 501(C)(3) Organization(Tax Exempted). Sending provisions to affectees with the help of Pakistan Army. For more info call: Hadia khan @ +92-3018245999 Sadia Haroon @ +92-3218251122 Irum Farooque @ +92-3002332142. (For donations: HABIB BANK LIMITED ACCOUNT NO: 1549-79001393-03)

  • RONAQ-E-QAINAATYoung doctors are in the process of arranging a series of free medical camps in the flood affected areas. First Camp is at Nowshera. Please Contact Ms. Alina Akhyar at, to email you the Trust’s past activities, bank account details and other queries. They have reportedly done some pretty impressive work. (Account number: 00400101065364, account title: Khadija Nadeem; Askari Bank Chaklala Scheme 3 branch Rawalpindi). Khadija is the founding member, handling all donations.

International Charity Organizations:

Please share this Note. This is also a way of helping.

Originally Posted @

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