Students initiate relief effort
The Pakistan Students’ Association at UH is working to send aid to Pakistan, after being hit by a flood that has claimed over 2,000 lives.
“This disaster is so much bigger than the recent natural disasters that we have had,” PSA Vice President Faiza Raza said. “They are depending on all of us to help them.”
An estimated 20 million people have been injured or made homeless by the flooding that began in July, making it one of the worst natural disasters in history. More than the combined total of the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the Kashmir earthquake in 2005, and the tsunami in 2004, according to the United Nations website.
PSA immediately held meetings when the flooding started in South Pakistan, developing plans to send aid overseas.
“We have held a raffle in order to collect donations for the flood victims,” Raza said. “We have also collected donations at the Pakistan Day Parade event held in downtown Houston.”
The donations collected through the efforts of PSA have already been used to send items of necessities to the victims of the flood in Pakistan.
“The amount raised by PSA was used to buy waterproof tents, food, medicine and other essentials,” Raza said. “These items have already been distributed around the Sakhar and Thata regions of Sindh, Pakistan.”
The Muslim Students’ Association at UH has also participated in relief efforts for Pakistan. They are collaborating with other organizations to send aid to flood victims.
“Helping Hand USA is heading a drive by collecting boxes filled with essentials for families affected by the monsoon, and MSA is working with them,” MSA Vice President Majeedah Pacha said. “We are encouraging our members to pack boxes with basic necessities including water bottles, milk cartons, soap bars, insect repellents and non-perishable snacks.”
PSA members are continuing to meet every week and are discussing other possible means to help Pakistan. However, there are students who think that not enough is being done.
“I do not feel that the world has given adequate attention to the crisis in Pakistan. The response from media and people is just not the same as it was for other disasters like Haiti, for example,” Biology senior Mariam Sattar said. “Pakistan has been in negative light recently and people are just scared to help them.”
PSA is still accepting donations and anyone willing to donate can contact Faiza Raza at [email protected].
“Pakistan is part of this world and they are a family with the rest of the nations,” Raza said. “Every one of us should contribute whatever they can in the name of humanity.”