here is the love!

Eid was joyous, no doubt. I did my fair share of family browsing and all. People seemed to do their fair bit of ‘chaand-raat’ shopping. But the gloom was there…

And it should be.

I saw a small shop sign, a banner really, that was supposed to say “aap sab ko eid kee bai-inteha kushiaan mubaarik” (Greetings of this infinitely joyous Eid be upon you all) … it probably was a banner the shopkeeper got some years ago to place on Eid days. But this time around, the shop keeper, God bless his soul, had tried to erase the “bai-inteha kushian” (infinitly joyous) part with a black marker. He wanted us to enjoy eid, but understood that it is not infinitly joyous that whole cities & villages in your own homeland have been wiped out of existence. People accept this calamity, but somehow we do not seem to understand it! And understand its scale and extent

Now Abdul-sattar Eidi, arguably the most experienced man in earthquake relief in the WORLD, has put the death toll around three hundred thousand. That’s more than quarter of a million. That’s – basically – a lot!

The dead of winter is around the corner. And it doesnt get any dead-er than this, God forbid.

Who will volunteer to go to Muzaffarabad or Balakot even in say, in December? Roads will be blocked with glaciers and snow but what about the places where one can go, but it is just too uncomfortable… who will sacrifice that comfort? And all the weddings in december lighting up our city, who will excuse his cousins, first or otherwise, and go for two, three, four days to volunteer? who? you? me?

And here is the REAL problem that I see: Still, on one knows EXACTLY what to do. The public at large is sending, donating, praying and arranging for the relief, but it is still far from organized. I for one, do not know of a list of ‘tasks’ a person willing to help can read and then decide what task to undertake.

Giving a person a list of phone numbers for all the relief agencies will only help this much… you leave the person with the list to think up his own way of helping and that, inevitably leads to an overall unorganized effort. While making such information is VERY important, but what is also important is letting people know WHAT EXACTLY needs to be done instead of telling us that WINTERS ARE COMING, and we NEED YOUR HELP. What help? How? Tell us how…

What about a permanant cable channel dedicated to such information? What about a permanent ticker on the current channels like ARY or GEO telling people specifically about tasks and things required — not giving information on who was saved and who gave how much donation and that which suited & booted goon toured the place on a helicopter… but concrete information, broken down in groups such as ‘shelter’, ‘clothings’, ‘food’ etc. Regardless of grouping, we need concrete information. No? We need action based on solid information, no? And most of all, we need to keep reminging ourselves not to fade out, no?

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