10th December 2005

The following is a report of the work carried out towards the earthquake relief in Pakistan under the banner of World Zoroastrian Organisation of which I am the Rep in Pakistan as well as a Board Member.

To date I have received Rs5,667,474.73 which is made up of donations from the Karachi Parsis of Rs3,667,261 and the balance from Zarathushtis and their friends who reside in Australia, Canada, Italy, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, and USA. The Zoroastrian Society of British Columbia contributed CND3,000 : the Zoroastrian Society of Ontario CND4,000 and a further figure of CND$1,704 : Zoroastrian Association of Greater New York US$1,973 : the Egan student body of the Egan Jr High, in Los Altos, Ca US$993 : and a private non Zoroastrian Trust from UK, £1000, which are part of the above figure.

Your donations have procured the following by giving in kind.

100 tents @ Rs6,500, 13ft x 13ft, waterproof, delivered to Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre, Karachi and sent to Muzaffarabad, Bagh and Ravalakot, distributed by their workers and documented.

100 tents @ Rs6,500, 13ft x 13ft, waterproof, delivered in Karachi, for Mansehra to Omar Ashgar Khan Development Foundation for distribution through Ali Ashgar Khan in the villages of NWFP.

75 tents @ Rs6,000, 13ft x 13ft, waterproof, delivered in Lahore for onward transportation to Mansehra to Omar Ashgar Khan Development Foundation for distribution through Ali Ashgar Khan at Kokhmar which is near Balakot.

75 tents @ Rs6,000, 13ft x 13ft, waterproof, delivered in Lahore for onward transportation to Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre, Pindi and then to Muzaffarabad, Bagh and Ravalakot.

100 tents @Rs3,900, smaller in size but made to the specs given by UN, delivered in Lahore for onward transportation to Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre, Pindi and then to the high areas of the Neelum Valley.

100 heavy duty canvas, waterproof, 18 ft x 18 ft @ Rs1,800, delivered in Karachi, for Mansehra to Omar Ashgar Khan Development Foundation for distribution through Ali Ashgar Khan in Mansehra district. Poles were made at Mansehra for these covers.

Two containers 20ft each @ Rs140,000, converted as OPDs, with insulation for winter, having a desk, shelves, bunk, and toilet, shower & basin, sent to MALC who have placed them at Muzaffarabad and Ravalakot, having no shelter to treat the afflicted.

250 heavy acrylic shawls, @ Rs200 (from wholesale) 2.75 yds x 1.50 yds delivered to MALC Karachi, for Muzaffarabad area, distributed to TB patients and their families.

Five tons of corrugated iron sheets for Rs275,000, for roofing, sent direct from Pindi to MALC distributed at Muzaffarabad and Bagh.

Ten wheelchairs @ Rs3,900, Chinese of best quality, delivered to Dr Behrouz Hashim, Chairman, Rotary International, District 3270, in Karachi for the three hospitals in Abbottabad.

All the above are from the donations received in Karachi and distributed from the Parsis of Karachi through World Zoroastrian Organisation.

Further 100 tents @ £65 + £3 (delivery charge by the manufacturers to London Heathrow), which were reduced in price from £225 by them as their donation. Despite every obstacle these were eventually received by MALC at Islamabad and sent to the highest areas of the Neelum Valley being light in weight and snow proof. The payment for these 100 tents were through the donation from FEZANA (North America) who sent US$5000 to London which purchased 39 tents, and the balance of 51 tents paid by WZO London. These tents were flown gratis by PIA.

Just before Eid, 300 activity items were packed in the most brilliant coloured plastic folders with zips, as well as large packets of sweets, two varieties of biscuits, all given to the 300 children in a shelter outside Islamabad known as G-7, by Sheeba Afghani and her friends (known volunteers). These six large cartons were carried gratis by DHL, through the courtesy of Salim Awan. Comment that came back from Sheeba: "the kids went completely wild especially with the stationary wallets." These children have been evacuated from the mountains and brought to safety who now have nothing at all. A negligible cost of Rs14,501, bringing smiles for children.

200 children were given goody bags which also contained balloons and balls at the MALC shelter at Muzafferabad, and 100 children were given activity items packed in plastic folders with zips at the village of Geri. This donation was not from the funds received.

Cathay Pacific Airways sent 300 blankets from HongKong, and further, from the donations received, 404 fleece blankets were purchased from a factory @ Rs260, all distributed in the Mansehra district through Omar Ashgar Khan Foundation.

Winter shelters are being made by various NGO's now, initially designed by Ali Asghar Khan, an architect by profession. They are a simple A form design using the stones which forms the initial wall of about 3ft, wood for anchoring the metal sheets, both being available on site, 12 corrugated sheets, wire netting to hold the insulation in place which is either straw if available or mud, bolts and screws with tools, all being given to each family as a kit. The size is 14ft x 14ft a most comfortable area for a family. Ali's carpenter and mason are showing the people by erecting one unit, and then the families themselves make the balance. It takes precisely two days to put up.

From the donations received through donors residing outside Pakistan, 75 winter shelters have been given for the village of Geri which is made up of 5 hamlets and is in the Baakot circle, each costing Rs15,000. The transport unfortunately puts up the price, as it is in a difficult location. A total amount of Rs1,125,000 spent for these shelters. The 75 shelters are enough for the whole village which has been totally destroyed, the people having nothing at all. With each shelter two fir trees were given so that the villagers could plant the same. The tents they had been supplied with by Ali, now are the homes for their animals and livestock.

75 stoves also designed by Ali, manufactured at Abbottabad, were given to the above people of Geri. It is a simple rectangle with two top burners, a side opening for putting the wood and a flue, which goes, out of the shelter. This serves as a cooking range and heater. These were for Rs500 each. The possibility of supplying stoves with gas cylinders was there but was aborted, as the people would have to walk for hours with these cylinders to refill at Muzafferabad.

Fortunately in the village of Geri there have been only five deaths as most of them were out of their homes. Donors, you have rehabilitated as far as housing goes, a whole village for which my most humble gratitude. There are many, many more winter homes required and time is of the utmost essence.

A 20-minute documentary on the village of Geri was shown on the cable network on the Business Plus channel on Wednesday 23 November at 9:15pm which gave a good idea of the plight of the homeless and how this could be rectified.

Two containers converted with all facilities for an OPD, as well as equipped with a heater and a geyser were delivered to Garhi Habibullah and manned by a doctor to look after the needs of this area. The cost was Rs200,000 each, plus Rs15,000 for transport of each container from Karachi to Garhi Habibullah.

100 anoraks for Rs360 each have been given for the children of Hangrai Union Council which is at 7,600 ft through Sheeba Afghani, a social worker.

All the above aid was given by the third week of October, except for the winter shelters, stoves, two further containers and anoraks which were given by 20th November 2005.

I have in hand Rs504,509 and the desire is to build a school which costs approximately Rs2.5 million, for the moment this idea has to be on hold, as logistics of how the school will be run has to be worked out. To erect the school is simple enough especially as we have Ali Asghar Khan, a professional architect, on hand, but the follow up is the important factor.

This is an urgent appeal to help your fellow humans, we owe them a basic education and sadly most schools no longer exist due to the earthquake.

Thank you
Toxy Cowasjee