Thursday, October 13, 2005


UPDATED October 14, 2005: Sabahat Ashraf has set up a useful website where one may submit/gather information.

ORIGINAL POST October 13, 2005: Gosht-Khor chides me on my silence in the face of the earthquake and its aftermath in Pakistan and India. To be honest, I had nothing to say on the earthquake-- except that I was reminded of Herzog's chilling line in Grizzly Man on "the monumental indifference of nature"-- but more importantly because the meager number of hits on my blog (boo hoo, check out the statcounter at the bottom) led me to believe that this blog was not likely to be anyone's preferred source of information on earthquake relief.

As many of you might already know, sepoy at Chapati Mystery is doing an excellent job keeping those of us not in the sub-continent informed and up to date.

For those in the tristate area, Your DIL has several collection points for a specified list of items that are urgently needed for the millions (yes millions) of people rendered homeless by the catastrophe.

I paste below excerpts from an email sent by Farida Shaheed (associated with a Pakistani group called Shirkat Gah), which references additional ways to assist (I cannot and do not personally vouch for any group's bonafides, but I'm hoping that people in the relevant parts of Pakistan have heard of and know about this group):

"...All Pakistani human rights organisations in the Joint Action Committeefor Citizens’ Rights (JAC) have banded together for the relief work,with the NGO Sungi in the lead. Sungi has previous experience withrelief work since they started with a flood relief programme somedecades ago. The organizations in the JAC have long worked with localcommunities in the region of the earthquake and are thus able to accessremote villages through social networks that are not available to themilitary and large donor organizations.If people want to contribute to the combined relief effort of JAC, theycan send money directly to Sungi:

Sungi Development Foundation
US Dollar account no. 412-2
Branch Code: 0585MCB Start Branch Abbotabad

Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre is involved in the JAC effort and is accepting funds for transferring to JAC’s resource pool. Shirkat Gah inLahore is acting as a collection point for JAC and for another effortled by Nalia Hussain and Lahore’s National College of Arts (that lostseveral students and/or their families). We are also working incollaboration with a hospital and medical foundation and a rural supportprogramme with local offices in the area. Shirkat Gah Peshawar, located closest to the area, is providing direct assistance to villagers. Some needed supplies are no longer available in Islamabad and Abbotabad.So we are buying goods and sending 1-2 trucks everyday from Lahore tonorthern locations specified by Sungi. The truckers have now offeredthis service free.Shirkat Gah is sending, as asked, shrouds for the dead, as well astents, quilts and blankets for those who have survived. We are sendingwith every truck a few dozen baby bottles for feeding nursing infantswho have lost their mothers. It would be best if we receive money,rather than goods, at this point, as it is much faster for us to sourcefor the items in Pakistan or India. In Lahore, the market is nowcompletely out of tents and quilts, with blankets now available only atone exhibition fair.

If you would like to support Shirkat Gah’s relief effort, these are our banking details:
Account name: Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre
Account No. 3582-050996-001
Standard Chartered Bank
1 Evertrust Plaza, Suite 1101, 11th floor,
Jersey City, New Jersey07302, USA

[With instructions for onward telex / swift remittance to:
Standard Chartered Bank
Karachi, Pakistan
Account No. 3582-050996-001

For further credit to:
Shirkat Gah
US$ Account No. 05-5307597-79
Standard Chartered Bank
New Garden Town
Lahore, Pakistan]

A bank transfer is best, rather than sending bank drafts andinternational cheques which take too long to clear. It would also bebetter for one person or group to collect money from friends or familyto send in one go, rather send small individual transfers since the bankdeducts too much money per transaction. Some Pakistani banks withoverseas branchs may agree to transfer the money without bank charges.At least some are doing so in the United Arab Emirates. Shirkat Gah’soffice in Peshawar is working with others in that area to deliver directassistance to one particular village. If you want to support thateffort, then please inform us.Gulnar is Shirkat Gah’s focal point for our relief efforts and cananswer any questions you may have. Her email address is:<> If you are sending money to Shirkat Gah, pleaseemail Gulnar to inform her of the amount, date and reference number ofthe remittance, so that we can email you to acknowledge receipt. We willsend you updates whenever possible.Thank you for your concern and help.
Yours sincerely,
Farida Shaheed
Shirkat Gah – Women’s Resource Centre"

And another e-mail (Yoginder Sikand is a well-known activist):

From: Ashima Kaul and Yoginder Sikand

Early morning on Saturday, October 8th 2005, the livesof thousands of people in Jammu and Kashmir changedforever. A massive earthquake measuring 7.6 on theRichter scale destroyed homes, families, towns andvillages. Uri and its surrounding areas and Tangdharsector in Kupwara in Kashmir Division and Poonch inJammu Division in the Indian-administered part ofJammu and Kashmir have been particularly affected. The grave human tragedy calls for urgent help from allsections of the society. Especially now when winter isapproaching and it is extremely difficult for peopleto bear the cold winter chill. In this hour of need, Yakjah Reconciliation and DevelopmentNetwork (YRDN), in collaboration with Society for Consumer Protection andEnvironment (SCOPE) has decided to extend all possible help and support byoffering volunteering services for networking and longterm intervention in the affected areas. We appeal to all those who receive this appeal to generously donate. Your donations will make a difference to thefamilies of those who have lost loved ones, homes andmuch more. Donations should be in the form of crossed cheques ordemand draft, payable in the name of Society for Consumer Protection and Environment, which would be the nodal organization based in Jammu from where reliefwould be directed to Poonch and Kashmir (Uri). Yakjah would extend help in coordinating, networking andmonitoring the local groups in identified villages inPoonch and Uri.

The demand draft/cheque should be sent to:
Anu Sharma,
c/o SCOPE ,
7, Panj Bakhtar Road,
Jammu and Kashmir, India

SCOPE's account 8945 and the acount is held in:
Jammu and KashmirBank,
Residency Road,
Jammu Tawi,
Jammu and Kashmir, India

Phone- 91- 191- 2548534 (Office) . . .
In case you are based in Bangalore or Delhi and have warm clothes, blankets, sheets, sleeping bags etc. (ingood condition) to donate, which we will send on to Poonch and Uri, please get in touch with Ashima Kaul(Delhi, cell no. 09868868746) or Yoginder Sikand (Delhi cell no. 9899437610) or Ali Sharif (Bangalore cell no. 9880365936)

NOTE: For any queries please get in touch with:
Yakjah Reconciliation and Development
Network Address:C-8 Press Apartments, 23 I.P.Extension, Delhi –110 092(India)
Phone: Ashima Kaul in Delhi – 09868868746, Yoginder Sikand in Delhi – 09899437610 . . .

Yakjah is a group of Kashmiri and non-Kashmiri professionals based in New Delhi, Jammu, Kashmir, Bangalore, Calcutta and Mumbai. They have been working with Kashmiri children through creative media for the last three years (since 2002) to reconcile different ethnic and communal groups in Jammu and Kashmir so as to battle the forces of militancy, polarization, communal divide and corruption.

Society for Consumer Protection and Environment(SCOPE) Address:
7, Panj Bakhtar Road,
Jammu Tawi,
Jammu and Kashmir, India.
Phone- 91- 191- 2548534 (Office) . . .


The Society for Consumer Protection and Environment[SCOPE] was founded in 1990 in Jammu City, Jammu &Kashmir, India, by Dr. TN Shalla of the Law Departmentof Jammu University. SCOPE was later registered underthe J&K Societies Registration Act in 1996 under itsExecutive Committee (Registration No. 2613-S of 1996). Throughout its early years, SCOPE was active in promoting consumer rights on a variety of issues, including traffic safety, pollution, deforestation,pollution of environment by plastics, fueladulteration, tampering of rickshaw meters, etc. Inlater years, it engaged in several voluntary programs funded by agencies such as NACO, the British Council, the Indian Oil Corporation, etc. Starting in 2001,SCOPE has also started Chhaya, a center for women's empowerment through training in tailoring skills. Beginning in March 2005, SCOPE has been preparing for a major programme in Good Governance that will besponsored by the Parternship for Transparency Fund(Washington, DC), which will be led by a newly-formedLegal Committee. SCOPE has been working with the Milk Federation of the National Dairy DevelopmentBoard (NDDB)to establish model milk cooperatives in Tehsils Akhnoor and Khour, which we hope will be expanded throughout the State. The project is likely to commence from November 2005."


gosht-khor said...

Thanks Qalandar. No site or source is too remote for this info at this time.
Bakhi ki baatein...well, remorse is remorse, no?

Qalandar said...

"...remorse is remorse, no?"

Um, no. Because my response to the earthquake was merely sorrow, but my response to the Bali bombings (and other such acts) is anger and indignation, along with sorrow. To repeat: there is a fundamental distinction between a natural calamity and an act of murder in the service of a political agenda.