by Fakhr Alam

To all you Pakistanis all over the world, our country is unquestionably faced with the worst crisis of all times. I cannot express the grief and the sorrow that I am witnessing. I want you all to understand that this is worst then the 2005 earthquake.  Do not use the death toll to quantify the scale of the disaster. Believe me the misery and the pain is much much more. The aftermath of the floods will be far more devastating then the floods themselves. Today official figures claim 20 million displaced affected people, but this figure can take a severe climb. As I write this secondary flood warnings are flashing on all local news channels.

I want you to know the story of Mehmood Dost Khan. A middle class businessman of Naushera. he took refuge on his double story house roof top. At night when the flood water exceeded his roof, in a blink of an eye his two year old son and 5 month old daughter along with his wife were  swept away by the raging current into the darkness of the night. All night he screamed there names and cried. He has not seen them since. He remains in a state of denial. The bodies have not been found. Local army officers tell me the bodies could have traveled as far as 200 kilometers.

I want you to meet Tayyaba Bibi, who was found dangling by a tree. She is a 68 year old widow, who remembers that at sunset she climbed the roof of her house, with her son and pregnant daughter in law. Then in a flash they were dragged under water and she lost consciousness. She was rescued by the Pakistan Army, but to date there is no news of her family.

I want you to know 8 month baby Ahmed, who died of hunger in his mother’s arms, waiting for rescue boats or helicopters that arrived at their location 6 days later. It was a group of 16 stranded on a small patch of higher ground.

I want you to imagine the pain of those parents who are totally helpless sitting on road sides with their children. In their eyes there is pain, horror and most of all despair. They do not know where the next meal is going to come from if at all.

Pakistan is faced by the most unbelievable task. These floods are a challenge to humanity.

I want you to understand that the real disaster starts now.

Visit any market in Pakistan and you will witness two things. The rise in prices of food items due to Ramadan, and a second escalation of food prices due to the floods. Yes there many who want to profit from this disaster.

Millions are displaced and awaiting food supplies while you read this email. They are desperate, vulnerable and hungry. They need food, they need shelter and they need medical attention.

Remember we all have to die and we are all answerable in the after life. These men women and children are asking for help through their silent screams. You can choose to listen and do something about it, or delete this mail and forget about it.

Ask yourself one thing. Could this not happen to any of us? Is Karachi, New York, London, Dubai protected from earthquakes, floods or other disasters? Truth is it can happen to anyone of us. It could have been you and me who could have lost a loved one in raging river waters. It could have been you or me standing in the middle of no where praying for a helicopter or boat to take us to safety. It could have been our child that died of hunger. Pause and think.

We have to rise again. All of us. The task this time much bigger and deadlier then the 2005 earthquake.

We must build food cycles, so that a constant supply can be made to the hungry people. You the overseas Pakistanis have to help us build food stocks so that there is no food shortage, and that the profiteers are not allowed to escalate local food prices, which will burden the other 70 percent poor population of Pakistan.

Friends I am merely a human being like all of you. I am not perfect. I am not a very religious man. But I feel the pain and misery of others, and I am constantly haunted by the fear that this could have been us.

So this is what we need to do:

1. Build food cycles by sending food items to Pakistan.
2. Create shelter by sending all weather tents.
3. Set up medical patrol volunteer teams with plenty of medication.

The rehabilitation, reconstruction is a far more daunting task, and it is  best left to the government.

This is what you have to do:

Get a carton box size 15 x 15 x 12. This size has been chosen because it gives us the optimum volume to weight ratio for our purpose.

Fill it with the following:

1. Two 1.5 liter bottles of water.
2. Two packs of sweet biscuits.
3. 12 packs of 200 ml to 250 ml juices.
4. 6 small packets of potato chips.
5. 2 bars of anti germ soap

6. 1 small bottle of insect repellant.

7. 1 box of dates.
8. 1 box of chocolates.
9. 1 sachet of glucose and vitamin energy mix ( ORS)
10. 1 liter carton of milk.

Pack this with extreme love and care, and take this box to a PIA cargooffice. All this cargo will be transported absolutely free of cost onpriority by PIA. As soon as it arrives at an airport in Pakistan. It will be custom cleared on priority and immediately handed over to Pakistan Army and very relevant NGOS like the Red Cross and NCHD. Note the cargo once on board a PIA flight will reach the affected recipient with 36 hours.

Remember the severity and the magnitude is so much that every box counts. If we can build a cycle then nothing like it. But remember requirements will change in the next 30 to 40 days. But the box size will remain the same.

Also please send as many all weather tents as you can send.

Finally please do not send used clothes. Do not send irrelevant donations. Most of all NO MONEY. I have set up this system so that every little bit counts. Let’s make it happen. The logistics are there and you know what to do. You will see me on and off on various TV channels. I will update you all step by step. PIA is our back bone in this operation. If at any stage you have any complains with the PIA people please call Captain Salman on +92-321-2232777. He is the head of the relief operation and our main
contact person in PIA for relief. You can reach me on my email
falam76@gmail.com

Time to rise

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