Earthquake Diary: Keeping the Flame Alive

Posted on October 12, 2006
Filed Under >Unaiza Nasim, Disasters, Society
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Guest Post by Unaiza Nasim

Its been a year since the devastating earthquake struck the AJK and NWFP region of Pakistan. There was an overwhelming response of Pakistani as well as the international community to the destruction caused by the quake. People opened up their hearts (and poured out their wallets) to help mankind. No religion, no language, no caste, one cause: Humanity.

But the task is not over yet.

The civic structure was destroyed… it’s a whole society to rehabilitate. A generation lost. Dreams shattered. The trauma that country went through is immeasurable. Our social and moral liability, a debt we owe to the country and a debt we owe to the humanity. We cannot compensate the loss of lives; we surely should put in where we can help. Hard is to imagine the lives, the happiness and the smiles of thousands who are homeless, who have no shelter, no arms, no support but that of faith. Strong are these people to stand up.

On this first anniversary of the tragic incident, let’s make a resolution, if not by money, by words, by deeds we would help them gain if not a standard of life, yet a smile on their face. Let’s help rebuild their lives..the lives which were brutally disrupted by one of the worst natural disasters in history. Yes, life would smile again.


I am all triggered for the cause again.

Didn’t sleep the whole night. By now have collected around Rs. 50,000. Have called up colonel Sahab, Salman called me up when I was just thinking of him and contacted Ejaz Asi (It was 1:00). Also called up Naila Jafry for her assistance. Wrote and wrote and wrote… And geared myself up again.

“Shelter for the homelessâ€Â? is my line of action. Talked to colonel Sahab who is my motivation and with whom I have worked, the old man of 60+ with stick in his hand says “Allah-oAkbarà ¢â‚¬Â? and we stand up to follow him like a flock of goats. Colonel Tariq has been with us when we went to Talgiran last year. He hiked with us for almost two days and a night with a stick in his hand exploring the areas where no aid had reached yet.

We guys met him first @ Chitta Bitta base camp and the way he told me on listening my “asalamalikum Sir!� (when I called him today) “beta kesay ho I miss you?� (How are u son?�) Brought tears to my eyes. I said “Sir, bus kamar bandh li hay…moral hi hay jawan ka, dua karein� ( Have determined and am all motivated, just pray). “Beta mein tayar hoon, let’s start� (Son, Im ready, let’s start�).

I told him how we lacked funds, yet I am positive to collect and provide shelter to the maximum we can before winter starts in. I’m planning to go to the areas, have not finalized yet where there are most shelterless people and make sure to have them have a home of their own.

A Tin sheet costs around Rs. 600-700 and 9 tin sheets are required for a house.I have asked all my friends to help. (my email:

That’s a humble request to all Pakistanis, to help your country build up. The point is not to criticize anyone, but to do maximum help that we can. Those who have been there know, and, I tell you how hard it is to survive in winters. The tents become deep freezers. And we do not have many NGO’s working like last year to save people. I fore see a high death rate if nothing in time is to be done. “United should we stand for the cause of humanity�


It’s 3:15 at night. Another night passing by…

I’m happy my dream has reached the mid of its reality. I hope to raise another Rs. 50k soon, making it 100,000 PKR. Which means approx 16 houses! 16 families living inside a shelter. Nothing in hand yet, but I will start that from tomorrow.

So much has to be done. I need the genuine list of the people so that it can be crosschecked. Folks keep the moral support on. I need it. And help spread the word. Too tired but cannot sleep feel a liability on me. Tomorrow’s going to be a busy day. I have to collect donations, get the car serviced and the oil changed.

Earlier episode of Earthquake Diary: Here.
Other ATP posts on Earthquake: Here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Unaiza Nasim, based in Karachi, worked in the earthquake devastated areas last year and has renewed that work now. She chronicles her quest on her blog and is frantically trying to raise support for the rebuilding effort. Any assistance and leads will be appreicated. You can contact here at

4 responses to “Earthquake Diary: Keeping the Flame Alive”

  1. unaiza nasim says:

    Thanks Daktar!
    I have realised its not easy going task.
    Last year people were enthusiastic, this year I have to motivate them. Takes in a lot of energy and sometimes I feel, I wont be able to manage. But then again I motivate myslef and strtup with a new zest.
    People do wish me luck, but no one has yet rendered a helping hand practically.
    Im thankful to the blogger friends who have helped me spread the word.

  2. Daktar says:

    Good luck Unaiza. Keep up the good work.

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