Press Release: Tuesday, 15 November, 2005 (2nd Maghar, 537Nanakshahi)
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UNITED SIKHS Base Camp: Garhi Habib Ullah, Pakistan
Camp Coordinator: Gurvinder Singh, Tel:0092 301 545 9311
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Garhi Habib Ullah, North West Frontier, Pakistan: UNITED SIKHS helped distribute much needed medical supplies last week (9th Nov) to earthquake survivor's in a camp in Battgram, Pakistan. A base camp was also set up in Garhi Habi Ullah last Sunday and food supplies were bought today to start the first langgar (Sikh community kitchen) at Bagh and Garhi Habi Ullah. To view a map of the area click here.
The truckload of supplies, along with a sought after female medical team, who provided after care for female earthquake survivors, were welcomed by 1700 survivors who live in this camp. This medical aid initiative was led by Dr Naeem Niazi, UNITED SIKHS' ground facilitator.
UNITED SIKHS has set up its base camp in Garhi Habib Ullah in collaboration with Bariatown and Maxcorp Properties of Islamabad. Dr Niazi said he was very pleased to work with the UNITED SIKHS team and he is hopeful that the Langgar will be run throughout the winter.
Mohammed Usman, Chairman of the Village Council, stated "Sikhs have a history of helping the people of this region, and we thank you for the continued efforts you are making in our time of need".
The UNITED SIKHS assessment team also visited Mangbajiri and Bagh, in West Kashmir, which are two totally devastated regions. Mangbajiri suffered from the total destruction of its primary school, which was attended by some 400 students. Raja Muhammed Azam Khan, the head teacher of the school, said "We are still in need of aid, as until now, we have not received any help. I also feel strongly that the loans that the teachers have taken on their houses and businesses against their wages should also be waived, because their houses and businesses have now been destroyed."
In Bagh the UNITED SIKHS team saw the firsthand devastation caused by the earthquake, with houses, businesses and schools completely destroyed. It was decided the need at Bagh was so great that langar camps will be set up there. Food storage plans have been initiated and preparations are being made to bring food supplies from Islamabad.
Gurvinder Singh, UNITED SIKHS GHANAIA team leader in Pakistan, said, "UNITED SIKHS is not a billion dollar humanitarian relief organisation which can solve every person's problems. What we are is a committed relief organisation which thriftily spends the donations we receive by locating and helping those most in need. This has time and again proved to be our strength, as the people we help are often in dire conditions and feel very forgotten by the outside world."
To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.
UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.
UNITED SIKHS is a coalition of organisations and individuals, who share a common vision based on the belief that there is no greater endeavour than to serve, empower and uplift fellow beings. The core of our philosophy is an unwavering commitment to civic service and social progress on behalf of the common good.
Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.
We at UNITED SIKHS believe that the development of enlightened and progressive societies can be made possible by socially conscious groups of people who make a commitment to develop and direct human potential. Our work, efforts and achievements stand as a testament to our faith in this vision.