Houston’s Positive Response For Pakistan Floods 2011
Formed in Houston: â€œAlliance of Pakistan Floods Relief Effortsâ€
Several community based organizations in Houston, Texas, USA; came together this past weekend, to establish a collaborative to serve the humanity in dire needs suffering from Floods 2011 in Pakistan. This body is named the â€œAlliance of Pakistan Floods Relief Effortsâ€; and its aims are to send monetary funds through members organizations working in the field in Sindh Pakistan, and to also send in-kind donations; all to benefit the humanity suffering from floods in Sindh Pakistan, where more than 7.50 million lives have been totally disturbed and projected to remain be disturbed in weeks and months to come.
Members of the Alliance as of Monday, September 19th, 2011 in alphabetical order are given below. More organizations are being approached and also being encouraged with this communiquÃ©, to join this collaborative. For more information, one can call Saeed Sheikh, Coordinator of the Alliance at 1-281-948-1840 and/or ILyas Hasan Choudry, Secretary of the Alliance at 1-832-275-0786):
Pakistan Prime Ministerâ€™s Flood Relief Fund 2011 – Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) South Texas Chapter – Hashoo Foundation USA – Helping Hand [USA] For Relief & Development (HHRD) – Houston-Istanbul Sister City Association (HISCA) – Houston-Karachi Sister City Association (HKSCA) â€“ Imran Khan Foundation (IKF) â€“ Pakistani-American Association of Greater Houston (PAGH) – Pakistani-American Council of Texas (PACT) – Pakistan Chamber of Commerce USA (PCC-USA) – Raindrop Helping Hands â€“ Raindrop Turkish House â€“ Red Cross – Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) – Sun Charity â€“ Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB);
Media Partners: Pakistan Chronicle – Pakistan Journal – Pakistan News â€“ Pakistan Times – Radio Houston – Radio Light Of Islam â€“ Radio Shalimar – Muslim Observer…
The inaugural exploratory meeting started with recitation of Quran by Abdur Rauf Khan. After initial introductions of all the attendees, one of the persons, who had envisioned the idea of this Alliance, Saeed Sheikh talked about the importance and blessings in joint efforts to serve the humanity in dire needs in Pakistan due to the recent catastrophic floods.
ILyas Hasan Choudry gave an overall assessment of the damage in Sindh Pakistan due to these floods and ongoing efforts. He informed that these floods were different than last year, where floods came down from mountains giving time for people to relocate. Here rains came down in four spells, causing sudden and very high floods, which have never been seen in 51 years. So people did not get warning to relocate. Catastrophe is larger than last yearsâ€™ flood, but somehow due to political, economical, and other natural & man-made catastrophes having hit Pakistan, USA and the world, media was late in picking up this news, especially the media in Pakistan. Otherwise this tragedy had struck many people long time ago, like almost one month ago. 250+ persons died, 2.30-Million bales of cotton lost, almost all of the crops are destroyed in an area of 7-Millon Acres, more than 60,000 cattle heads perishing (whole livelihood of majority of common people in the area of twenty or more districts gone), and 750,000+ homes partially or completely destroyed. Water has come in so much quantity that it is projected by experts that it may take 30 to 45 days just for the water to recede. As such there is emergency relief work needed in terms of clean water, food, shelter, healthcare services, and psycho-social support for children, ladies, and elderly. After the first phase of one to two months, much long term rehabilitation will be needed. Local organizations at grassroots levels are working within the communities, where people are stranded due to water, while international NGOs with local offices are trying to bring people into cluster camps and providing their efforts.
Based on thorough discussion, following are the projects and programs that were decided for this alliance: Doing In-Kind donation drive for three to four weeks (and beyond if needed). Since the best possible facilities, including dock for container, are available at PAGHâ€™s Pakistan Center located at 12638 Bissonett, Houston, Texas 77099, so that will the place to collect In-Kind donations.
Alliance will also organize joint monetary fundraising events, which may include a large scale underwritten dinner at a nice location, and one or two radio telethons, where people will be encouraged to donate towards the organizations of their choice, just like it was done at the time of the earthquake in Pakistan 2005. For the joint fundraising efforts, more organizations will be included that will become part of the list of organizations to receive the monetary donations for these joint fundraising efforts. As of Monday, September 19th, 2011, these organizations were identified to receive monetary funds raised during Allianceâ€™s Events (more can be included later on): Pakistan Prime Minister Fund; Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) South Texas Chapter; Helping Hand [USA] For Relief & Development; Imran Khan Foundation (IKF); Pakistani-American Association of Greater Houston (PAGH); Raindrop Helping Hands; Sindhi Association of North America (SANA); Sun Charity; and Red Cross (included so as to give choice to larger American community to participate â€“ someone from Red Cross will be approached before putting their name on the final list).
It was decided to have an initial working committee for the Alliance, and following persons were chosen with consensus â€“ More persons will be included as the Alliance expands By the Grace of God: Saeed Sheikh (Coordinator), Talat Talpur (Treasurer), Mian Nazir (In-Kind Donation Coordinator), and ILyas Hasan Choudry (Secretary and Community & Media Outreach). Two persons, who are members of the Alliance Organizations; namely Bobby Refaie and Cristal Montanez Baylor will soon be in Pakistan; and during their stay in Pakistan, they will act as Liaison for the Alliance in Pakistan.
For more information, one can call Saeed Sheikh (Cell: 1-281-948-1840) and ILyas Hasan Choudry (Cell: 1-832-275-0786).