Keeping in mind the situation of the country, NGP started it’s Flood Relief Campaign on Friday, 6th August 2010 by setting up a stall at the Liberty Chowk, Lahore from where the campaign spread to Al-Fatah and HKB(Haji Karim Buksh) Defence.
Funds were raised through two different channels; one was on the spot collection in which volunteers used chart papers and banners to compel passing cars and pedestrians to donate. The other was spreading the message to friends and family and fund raising through word of mouth. Ali Hashmi, Shameel Mazhar, Salar Satti, Jafar Khan, Saif Kazi and a number of other volunteers spent hours under the sun holding banners to encourage people to donate. Both methods proved to be fruitful and by the third day Rs. 7,00,000 had been collected in cash. In addition to that, about a half a truck of load of goods had been dropped at our collection center at Liberty Chowk by various donors.
On the 4th day, the campaign received a major boost when the Principal of Aitchison College announced that he would match the amount collected by Next Generation Pakistan. The Prinicpal held a meeting with the organizers of the campaign and donated Rs 7,00,000 to the fund; taking the total amount to Rs. 1.4 milion.
The new and unexpected inflow of funds meant that NGP could increase it’s initial order of 300 boxes by as much as 100% and still have enough capital to meet the target for the next shipment.
Not surprisingly, Metro straightout told Next Generation Pakistan that there was no way they could prepare 600 boxes in such a short time and asked NGP to not even expect the 300 boxes since it had rained that day. The army trucks that had been arranged to carry the goods were part of a convoy which was to leave at 1100hrs sharp the next morning – and the army is punctual, therefore, the relief boxes had to be packed on the same day. In desperate need of both a venue for packing and transportation, the organizers headed towards Aitchison College. The Principal, Fakir Ejazuddin, was kind enough to allow NGP to Huse the school’s trucks for bringing the goods from Metro. He also agreed to open up the Shamim Khan Hall; the biggest inside Aitchison, where volunteers could then pack the relief boxes. It is important to mention the names of a few students who spent a significant amount of time at the Liberty camp and helped pack the boxes; Fatima Khalid, Zainab Fakhar, Zoya Mazhar, Mehrunissa Zafar, Mahnoor Ahmad, Zahra Aslam are many others made important contributions in this respect.
Improvising our way forward
We went to Metro with a contigent of sweepers and maalis to pick up our goods while another group went to CSD Bedian Road to negotiate our next order. Unsure of how long the trip to and from metro would take, we asked our volunteers to show up at five, as we had to tell them the time a little beforehand so that they can make their own arrangements. The truck was late, and some of our Volunteers left after waiting for one hour or so. This was very discouraging, a large part of a relief campaign, especially when such a disaster has struck is waiting and not knowing when and what you will be required to do next. We had been doing it for the better part of a week till then and it was disappointing to find out that some of our representatives could not bear with us for a few hours. In any case, the trucks arrived bearing goods and instructions from Metro on how to pack. We mobalised our large team of Volunteers and Maali’s and began a very hectic large-scale packing process, pictures of which have been uploaded on our website and facebook group. We were done at around midnight. The next day, two trucks carrying 600 boxes and water bottles worth about 6,000 litres (Salsabeen Water had generously agreed to provide us with a 1.5 litre bottle for Rs.13) were on their way to Mianwali. The total price of the goods was about 7.5 lakhs.Funds were pouring in at this stage. We had just placed an order worth 10 lakhs with CSD Bedian road. The were to give us 785 boxes, would of which they could pack 400 in the time wehad given them. We again mobilised our volunteers to pack the remaining boxes and were able to do so more profficiently and without delay the second time. Once again rain attempted to foil our plans, but we shifted our goods to the CSD’s veranda and carried on. Our efforts had till now been televised by Express News, Dunya TV and Apna channel and both urdu and english newspapers had mentioned our activities. We then transported all the goods people had donated to us- which took up about half a truck- and the 3 lakhs worth of medicines (generously donated by Farooq Hospital) to CSD.
Delivering the Aid
The next morning, seven volunteers accompanied three of NGP’s trucks in an army convoy heading towards Multan. They first stopped at the the supply depots where the goods were being stored for distributions and then visited a few relief camps in Muzzafargarh and the adjoining areas. As a final assurance that Next Generation Pakistan’s efforts effected the people in need, the volunteeres filled two pick-ups with some goods and drove to a few relief camps to distribute a token amount of aid with their own hands.