Bursting bubbles: One Rickshaw Ride at a Time

I close my eyes, trying to mask my worry. A million questions erupt in my head. Should I be doing this? Is this right? Is there a way out?

A way out. Of course there is. But I’m already too deep in the maze to back out.

My friend signals me to go ahead, but my nervous smile says it all.

He rolls his eyes, clears his throat and bellows “RICKSHAW”. The loud voice dissipates amongst the noisy I I Chundrigar road. Nevertheless an obedient dealer comes to the call.

“You ready?” This time the question is not the one in my head.

“No. Let’s go.”

My first ever rickshaw ride. I can only hope Karachi is nice to me.


Living in a bubble has its perks. You can sit comfortably in a furnished air conditioned room, and blog about how wonderful Karachi is. When talking about Karachi, we limit ourselves to a few posh areas of the city, feeding our own insecurities with an elegant image of an expanding metropolis, and side lining the negative details of this decaying Asian Tiger.

But even in this bubble, we are aware. Aware enough of restricting our lifestyles to a few “Phases” and “Khayabans”, and aware enough to maneuver our way out of any horrific situations that can victimize us ad turn into those unknown names mentioned in the daily newspaper. We’re afraid to give the city a chance.

But talking about insecurities isn’t my objective. Ranting has never gotten anyone anywhere.

I had never sat in a rickshaw until about two days ago. Yes, I’m immune to the raised eyebrows and the condescending reactions by now. After my confession to the crime in front of my colleagues, they were adamant to have me take a rickshaw ride, and I was adamant to try my best to decline the offers.

The universe turned out to be on their side when I had to go on a lunch plan one Friday afternoon, and faced a conveyance problem. Naturally, everyone was quick to suggest a rickshaw to accomplish their mission. That was when the stereotypes and scary stories started circulating my brain and voicing themselves out.

A girl. The city of Karachi. A rickshaw ride. The million question marks.

Luckily a friend decided to accompany me (One less question mark). As for the other worries, I was told how the rickshaw’s security arrangements start and end with one jumping out of the doorless vehicle in case of an emergency. Fool proof.

So how was that rickshaw ride? For starters, I didn’t get mugged. I was tightly clutching my purse to my chest, because that always stops robbers from committing the crime.

Alarmingly however, the most preoccupying part of the ride was not my fears about conquering me. I faced different challenges that ranged from the verbal battle that sparked from the driver saying he’ll charge us 500 to an impressive settlement of 150. The settlement was reached after many “Baji’s” and “bhai’s” and “Itnay main done karain”. From I I Chundrigar Road to Boat Basin, my hips hurt because of the hard seat and the incessant bumps that the tiny yet determined vehicle faced along the way.

I learnt many new things that I’m sure I’ll only find in Pakistan. For instance, how a rickshaw ride from one destination to another will cost us the same price as we settle for regardless of whichever route the driver takes. That’s so convenient if one gets lost and needs to try multiple routes to reach the desired place. Or the emergency tool kit that every rickshaw driver keeps next to his seat. Our driver had to use his because our tiny vehicle stopped in the way.

It was that brief, bumpy and enduring rickshaw ride that made me experience a glimpse of Karachi. And contrary to popular belief, this non superficial glimpse actually made me smile. I felt closer to the city than I’ve felt since all the years I’ve been living in it.

What I had done right there was popping a bubble; one out the several more that stop me from exploring the beauty of the city. And these bubbles need to burst. Because Karachi’s beauty- the one that is lost somewhere amidst the skeptical questions- is worth saving.

And so, I’m geared up for another journey, another bump on the road (pun intended). Next on the list: bus ride.

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The Irony of History

“History repeats itself.” Sometimes we are observant enough to notice the repetition or too ignorant to realize it. In any case, I am a firm believer of the statement; now I am not aware of the history to know exactly what happened, but something got me thinking.

So I am flipping through channels to kill time, trying to find something decent to watch. I come across a movie I’ve heard a lot about but never got to watch it for various reasons (one being that Aamir Khan dies in the end): Mangal Pandey.

This is how the scene goes: the ‘farrangee’ has had a long day, he is tired from hunting in the heat, screaming at the sepoys for being lazy, riding through villages collecting dues and at the end of the same day, there is a huge ball that he is attending; wearing an uncomfortable formal attire, tending to ladies with a bow, smiling at other farrangees, and occasionally dancing.

A local who works for the farrangees is serving drinks, going around the ballroom to all guests; when suddenly he comes across a lady standing next to our farrangee and somehow trips. Now visualize this: the drinks fall on the lady’s dress, the farrangee is enraged, the local is flabbergasted, the music has stopped and everybody is staring. The poor local with a very apologetic expression grabs a napkin and starts wiping the lady’s dress. Our farrangee goes bollocks, he grabs the culprit’s collar, screaming in rage ‘How dare you’, ‘You lowly piece of nothing’, drags him out to the porch, beats up the poor guy with kicks and punches; then snatches a whip and made ample use of it till our hero Mangal Pandey takes the poor guy away, constantly apologizing on his behalf.

Now if we take a step back and observe, our farrangee had nothing compassionate about him. His actions were aggressive, tone arrogant, attitude egoistic, behavior merciless and apathetic, anxious to take out his anger, a coward to be so cruel with the weak, etc.

Consider this: He could have just accepted the apology or dismissed him from the job, or if he had the courage to be a little compassionate, he could have just helped him clean up and paid attention to the wound that had resulted from the accident. Or maybe he could just let the party continue and ask him to leave the hall.

But he did what he did. And we all know these small spiteful events led to the greatest mutiny that headed towards the all-knowing revolution of the subcontinent.

Coming back to the present. Consider this scenario: You had to skip breakfast because you were getting late for work, the meeting that started at noon gobbled up your lunch break, your boss wasn’t too happy with the outcome of the meeting and took it out on you, by the time you head home, the roads are packed with cars honking and you are stuck in a crisscross traffic jam for an hour.

You are just one signal away from home, you stop at the red light and a street child comes, without your permission starts cleaning your windshield.

What is your reaction?

Go back to reading how I had described the personality of the farrangee, his reaction and the possibilities of his reactions. Are we at the brink of a revolution?

A little humility, empathy, forgiveness, courage even mindfulness can change our everyday and tomorrow.

Farrangee: foreigner

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Compassion Towards Animals

It was five in the morning and I was fast asleep when I felt something fluffy beside me. My eyes fluttered open at the touch. I see my kitten looking at me with it’s big eyes, as if it was studying me all this time, sitting on the cushion just like a king. It came and sat on my pillow. I was surprised as it was cuddling, I resisted the urge to move it away from my pillow while it rested its chin atop my head, sniffing compulsively, jumping up nuzzling against my hair.

I was awed at my kitten’s behavior. All animals need a bit of love and care, just spend a little time with them and they are good to go.

Sitting here in the office got me wondering that we all go on and on talking about compassion towards human beings – our friends, family, relatives, people all around the world who are suffering. To empathize with them and understand their sufferings but, come to think of it how often does anyone think about animals?

Not very often. Isn’t it?

I mean we human beings can actually speak up, express our pleasures or displeasures, while animals; they can’t even speak for themselves.

Many of us have pets nowadays, or had pets in the past. You wouldn’t want to hurt your much-loved pets, would you? People who have pets partly understand compassion towards animals but why not extend it to all the other animals including those who are being killed all over the world, those on whom we conduct various experiments testing drugs and various cosmetic products and animals who are used to lift heavy goods for transportation.

We see animal cruelty on the streets, roads every day. But we see right through it, as if it doesn’t matter.

Most of us won’t understand or make out this connection because we are so busy living in our own bubbles that we don’t realize what’s going on around us. For a moment we might even start realizing that compassion towards animals is indeed very important but are we doing anything for them at all?

We see food as food, not a living creature who might suffer. Isn’t it? Have you ever thought about the series of step taken in order to get meat, from a living animal to our plates? I guess not. But if we start seeing the conditions in which these animals are living, or what they are fed, we might start feeling differently.

It’s not only the ‘killing’ of the animals which is very inhumane, that has caused suffering, but also the time period from their birth to death. We treat animals like non-living things, products or objects on which we conveniently conduct experiments, yet they aren’t. They are suffering just like us, the only difference is they can’t speak for themselves.

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9 Life Skills Shaping a Better Tomorrow

The future of Pakistan is wholly dependent on its young population. 66 percent of the Pakistani population is below 30 years of age. Keeping this in mind, CfC started a Compassionate School Network where students and teachers are taught nine compassionate skills; altruism, empathy, forgiveness, gratitude, humility, integrity, resilience, self compassion and mindfulness; with the hope that the next generation of Pakistan will grow up to be responsible compassionate adults.

While on the surface the nine skills appear simple telling us what we have been told as children like be honest, be brave, be grateful, be forgiving; however, practicing these skills in our daily lives is by no means an easy task. It is hard to be brave when faced with a difficult life choice. It is difficult to forgive when wronged and it seems impossible to be non judgmental. But all of these things are possible and practicing them has proven to help lead a much happier and healthier life.

The rise in the popularity of yoga practice all over the world shows that our lives have become much more hectic and complicated than they were in the past. Students, employees, parents, teenagers, managers are all taking time out of their daily schedule to practice yoga. But what does yoga do? The basic philosophy behind yoga is ‘mindfulness’. It is to be fully present in a moment with no strings attached. To be non judgmental and only be fully aware of ourselves with all our feelings in that present moment. Mindfulness is also the backbone of the eight skills. Being mindful in any situation is one of the strongest weapons we can possess. When we are mindful we have the power to effectively face any curveballs life may throw at us.

Along with mindfulness it is necessary to be self compassionate. Before moving on to others we must be strong enough to accept our faults and weaknesses. Being acceptable of our strengths and weaknesses gives us the tool to deal with criticism and also to realize our own mistakes which help us grow into being a much better and confident person.

Being grateful, forgiving, altruistic, empathetic and humble are important life skills to have. They make us break through barriers like race, class, social status, and ethnicity. We realize everyone is equal and must be treated with respect and love. Forgiving someone or being empathetic towards someone makes us feel a sense of happiness that cannot be explained. It also makes us much healthier. Research shows that people with these life skills are less depressed and anxious than others and are also more confident and possess good social skills.

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”. This quote by Nelson Mandela perfectly describes resilience. Learning this skill teaches us to get up and try once again in the face of hardships. It makes us strong and challenge the situation instead of giving up. Integrity on the other hand helps us make the right choice and be content with our decision.

Together these nine skills help us become better individuals who are capable of tackling hard situations, treating others as equals and taking the correct steps towards a better tomorrow.

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Health and Compassion

We can all agree that good health is one of the biggest blessings we can have. Ask someone who suffers from any ailments, be they young or old, and they will be quick to talk about their desire for recovery and better health.

While medical innovation and research have allowed recovery times to speed up exponentially and treatments for a lot of diseases to become more effective, not everyone can afford access to world class healthcare.

The world is moving by leaps and bounds into an era where the primary concern has increasingly become the prolonging of one’s life span and the prevention of old age (or rather, the effects of old age). People look for more holistic ways to improve their health- awareness about exercising, healthy diets and other forms of self-improvement have become increasingly commonplace. Endless amounts of money are spent on preventive measures and better lifestyle choices. Even in Pakistan, the rising number of wellness programs and experts, ranging from diet gurus to fitness classes, is an indication that health is becoming serious business.

However, the choice to live a healthy life, like most good things, comes with a price tag- and one that not many Pakistanis, or for that matter most underprivileged in the developing world, can afford.

Moreover, the numbers of ill and suffering people in our country far outnumber those of doctors in the public sector. Take a trip to Karachi’s Civil Hospital, and you see people lying outside every entrance, waiting for their turn. Many have been there for several days, spending their days and nights waiting for someone to pay attention to them. Several have traveled from far away, because proper healthcare facilities do not exist in their villages. Clusters of concerned relatives crowd the Emergency Ward entrance as guards try to stop the flood of people.

The plight of these people is plain to see. They do not know about what it means to live what is considered nowadays to be a “healthy life.” In fact, their main concern is merely to recover and get back to work. Preventive measures aren’t something they know about, nor can they afford them. A lot of the time health problems have been ignored to the extent of spiraling out of control, by which point it’s already too late. I’m sure we’ve all heard at least one story of domestic staff members, whether they be our own or those of others, where a seemingly trivial pain, cough or fever turned out to be a life threatening cancer or other fatal disease. As much as we want to deny it, the life of the poor really is cheaper.

Of course, there are good samaritans too. Pakistan has the world’s biggest ambulance network, courtesy of the Edhi Foundation, providing services for the poorer members of society. We have the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, where rich and poor alike receive world class treatment for cancer at subsidized rates or for free. Organizations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres, also known as Doctors Without Borders, work with patients in conflict, natural disaster, and epidemic ridden areas, with staff specializing in emergency medication and the needs of populations affected by various kinds of turmoil.

Furthermore, hospitals and medical universities are increasingly conducting and investing in research on how to improve healthcare for the less fortunate. All of these efforts are results of the sustained dedication of individuals who are compassionate enough to not only recognize their own privilege, but empathize with those who are less fortunate. What can we do to contribute? Stay tuned for the next blog for that!

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March 8 – Women’s Day

Pakistan, like the rest of the world, celebrated International Women’s Day on the 8th of March. Various articles were written, ads were released and the country seemingly pledged to respect women, appreciate them and work towards making the country a better place for women to live in.

While we were “celebrating” women in national dailies, having television specials and conferences to talk about their lives, Pakistani women continued to suffer the indignities that are heaped on their persons day in and day out. From news of a rape victim self-immolating in desperation because the perpetrators who gang raped her were set free, to a woman being buried alive- and those are just extreme cases- the trend of women being humiliated and victimized through various forms of violence continued in all its glory during March. We need only scan newspaper headlines to open the Pandora’s box of atrocities that Pakistani women deal with in their lives.

Despite paying lip service to equality and the notion of human rights and civil liberties for all, women continue to be treated as second-class citizens in Pakistan. Granted, more and more women are stepping into the professional sphere, pursuing advanced degrees and we have several illustrious women who have made us proud in the distant and recent past, and will continue to do so. We have more women taking part in political processes, more women speaking up, and more women becoming aware of their rights as citizens. And yet, all of that is not enough. For one Malala, we have countless women who continue to be oppressed and victimized; even Malala herself has not been spared the vitriol, having been subjected to all kinds of accusations.

Like most social problems, attitudes towards women are psychologically entrenched in our society- and those are the most difficult to change. How do we go about building a grass roots movement that will put into motion long-term social change? The answer will depend on how much we are individually willing to do, and how much of that individual effort can translate into collective action. It also depends on how seriously we take the problems facing women in Pakistan.

Biases start in our homes. As a conservative society, we expect women to observe certain limits and tend to treat them differently than we do men. We find these attitudes no matter which social strata we venture into.

While we cannot expect changes to occur immediately, we can make it a personal mission of sorts to do our part in changing attitudes. Starting by teaching our children, especially boys, that women must be respected and valued is something we can all do. Standing and speaking up against wrong is not always easy, especially in an environment steeped in bigotry and intolerance. However, there are several brave women who strive, often in the face of great danger, to fight for the rights of Pakistani women. It is these individuals to who we must support and take inspiration from, so we too can do our part to make this country liveable for half of its population.

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The recent famine in Thar has left over 100 dead, including children. In a country with plentiful natural resources and an abundance of food, a crisis of this kind is nothing less a case of gross negligence and oversight. It is surprisingly easy to forget the sufferings of others when one does not have to endure life’s vagaries, or so it would seem for our political leaders and government officials.

Amartya Sen, noted economist and Nobel laureate, has asserted time and again that no functional democracy can justify a famine. It is evident, then, that our leaders have failed in fulfilling their basic duties to an entire group of Pakistani citizens. The Thar famine is a crisis on many levels- the first and foremost issue to be dealt with being the famine and the medical emergency faced by the region at this point. Secondly, the current emergency aside, famines are a recurring problem in the Tharparkar area- there is one every two to three years. Despite that, no efforts have been made to deal with what is primarily an infrastructural problem. The region’s wildlife and flora and fauna had started bearing the brunt of this famine before people started suffering, and despite that no notice was taken, nor were any measures implemented.



From a dearth of food to a lack of medical facilities, from ignorance about the problem until it escalated to the point where we currently stand to the lavish selection of food at a meeting held in Mithi to discuss hunger alleviation measures- all these things reek of insensitivity and ignorance.

As easy as it is to feel hopeless in times like these, what is more important is to come together as a community and help out the best way we can. This is a situation that asks for deep introspection into why a crisis of this magnitude arose. It requires us to empathize with the parents who have watched their children starve to death while their own bodies have simultaneously been wracked by pangs of hunger. We should ask ourselves how or when we became so insulated from the sufferings of others that it took the dedicated persistence of journalists to bring this issue to light, while it was more or less ignored by the rest of the country. We’re living in times when, understandably, most people believe in an “every man for himself” philosophy- Pakistan is not the most stable of countries at the point. However, does that mean we forget our sense of humanity?

This crisis calls for widespread education and awareness about the famine and what caused it. We can stress the importance of food and other donations, and no doubt, those are critical at this point; but we also need to think long-term and start a conversation about preventing such a calamity from happening again.  There are two aspects to being a responsible citizen which are supremely important at this point: holding leaders accountable and questioning what they are doing for the people who have elected them, and being knowledgeable about our own duties to fellow citizens. Feeling helpless about the situation and playing blame games is not the answer- there is always time for arguments, but this moment calls for solid action.

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CfC Training Session

The soft murmurs slowly died out as the trainer started talking. We had attended enough sessions not to need an introduction, so I settled back in my chair to see how this one would play out.

The trainer was from the Charter for Compassion, here to train us to integrate compassion into our class environment. Each session discussed a different facet of compassion, and today’s topic was integrity. I wondered whether today I would simply hang on with half my attention elsewhere or actually be involved. I had experienced each of these situations previously, sometimes because the topics were too dry for me, or sometimes because I was simply too exhausted. But there also had been  instances where I had laughed intensely at the stories some of my colleagues contributed, and had watched some adorable video clips. I was hoping today was one of those days.

Teacher Training Session

Teacher Training Session

We started out routinely discussing what the word “Integrity” means to us. While this was a commonly discussed word, and most of us could easily define and somewhat describe it, I remembered sessions where the words were unfamiliar. “Empathy” for one had been tough, with most of us confusing it with sympathy. But whether we understood it or not initially, at the end of the sessions, we knew everything about it. My favorite ending so far had been an endearing Sesame Street clip, which had  all of us giggling as the characters explained empathy to each other.

Today’s video did not turn out to be a bundle of laughs; however, it managed to get its point, “What integrity entails”, across emphatically.

While I had been quite skeptical about the need and affectivity of these sessions initially, I could now see how these could help change some things for better. They managed to reintroduce concepts and words that had gotten lost in the chaos of our lives.

We were asked to discuss in groups a situation when we had not acted with integrity. This turned into a  stunningly insightful discussion. There were stories that were simply audacious, and tidbits about usual situations like taking money from your husband’s wallet without even telling him. We laughed ourselves silly at stories from our youth, and reflected gravely on instances where what had been done was wrong yet necessary. It was interesting to see what each person’s loophole was. When for them it was okay to do something not strictly correct.

One jarring instance in this session for me turned out to be when the trainer asked us how many of us actually told our students to simply understand the concept and that we could worry about the grades later. What came to my mind was not my students, rather my daughter who had told me last evening to stop bugging her about paying attention in class. She told me that she would get me the A I wanted in the end somehow. My reply had been, “Fine, Get that A then, however you want to.”

It was a reality check about how much everything had become about the destination, and the journey was simply added baggage. This was not the first time I had been forced to reevaluate my everyday actions. These sessions had brought to the forefront common words that we had somehow forgotten the importance of.

The discussion went on about how each of us, knew these words, perhaps practiced them, but simply did not identify with them. How we could learn to practice them, and this way be able to pass this on to our students. How could we use activities in classrooms to help children relate to each other and realize the importance of these words in their lives.

With these sessions, I had been forced to realize that these things had simply become buzzwords. They sounded nice in conversations and writings but had no place in our day to day lives anymore. We needed to relearn them. To reapply them. And yes, to teach them. We needed to consciously practice them, and groom our children to practice them. These words, had the power to change our lives, and all that was needed was merely a conscious application of them in our lives.

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Zindagi Trust Foundation

“Chotu chai la!” (Child, fetch me a cup of tea!)

And like a genie, a child- ranging 10-17 years in age- would appear, holding a teetering tray full of cups of tea.

These “chotus”(subservient children) are seen quite commonly all around us. And that’s not the only chotu there is. There is the chotu who carries tools and cleans up after a mechanic. The chotu waiting tables at a street side restaurant. The chotu working away in a tailor’s workshop, and many, many more.

These “chotus”, whose age can range from anywhere between 8-14 years of age, technically fall under the ILO (International LabourOrganisations’) definition of Child Labor. Many institutions in Pakistan have protested it frequently, to little gain. The problem in Pakistan is the huge chunk of population that lives below the poverty line. For these people, sending their children to school is not an option. It is the difference between going to bed hungry for days, and having enough to eat to tide them over for the night. For them, every rupee earned is necessary, by every single member of the family. So awareness campaigns educating them about better future prospects do not work. If they die of hunger today, they have no future, let alone a better one. They need the money.

Understanding this need, empathizing with the helplessness of parents who might want their children to get educated but cannot, Zindagi Trust Foundation took an original initiative. It pioneered the concept of “Paid to Learn” in 2002, taking working children from all over Pakistan and involving them in this program. These children study in an informal, accelerated system, and are paid Rs. 20 to attend classes every day.

In 2007Zindagi Trust undertook the management of a government school called SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School and implemented some vital changes. Their aim was to transform the public school structure to provide the government a model for improvement for other public schools. They rehabilitated the school, turning it into a building with necessities like electricity, water and proper furniture, as well as introduced facilities like computer and science labs, art studios, libraries etc.

They completely changed the administrative system, by merging various systems running under a single campus, into one system as well as implementing strict record keeping for students and teachers. Most importantly, they replaced the curriculum with innovative books, and started a study system that monitored learning and used creative ways to teach. They introduced extracurricular activities like chess, taekwondo etc, which encouraged the children to engage with each other and become more self-aware. Many of these children thus gained the courage to participate and subsequently win several national competitions.

The importance that Zindagi Foundation place on health is perhaps one of the most desperately needed changes. They have established a clinic at the school, encouraged students and their parents to make use of the free facilities, and this way have even diagnosed Tuberculosis (TB) , and initial stage cancer. They have enforced hygienic practices and have invol

ved the parents to bring about a cleaner healthier environment. Mindful of the way an inadequate diet can cause a lackluster performance in class and a lack of focus, they have started a breakfast system for the malnourished children.

All the changes they have brought about, and the programs they initiated, have gone a great way towards improving the quality of life of over 3000 children in the “Paid to Learn” scheme and all those studying inFatima Jinnah Government Girls School.

This foundation has played an integral role in empathizing with the predicament of a large fraction of our society. They have recognized the problems in the old systems, and pointed out the best possible ways to bring about improvement. They have highlighted the importance of children in our society and their work towards a healthier, literate environment has provided a model for future improvements.



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Aman Foundation

In Pakistan, there currently exist a plethora of problems and issues; hence maybe it is apt that there are an abundance of NGOs working on solving the myriad of complexities that currently exist. However, it is important to shed light on those doing something “different”.Aman foundation is one that does something a little “more”. It balances a network of ambulances, telephone health services, skills training institutes; children education centers and places where children can benefit from a nutritious meal.


Started in 2008 in Karachi, Aman Foundation now operates a network of 100 ambulances that have a response time of less than ten minutes. Each of the ambulances have trained Emergency Medical Technician (EMTs) and doctors, who can provide appropriate help in cases of cardiac arrest and critical injuries. These ambulances have made it easier to transport patients to and from the hospital, cutting down on the risk that the inevitable traffic jams in Karachi pose for critical patients. Unlike other ambulances, they actually have the staff that can stabilize the patients during that interminable drive, and thus considerably lessen the anxiety of the family.

Operating under this health program, Aman Foundation has also started Telehealth; a system that operates as a call centre.Telehealth is staffed with doctors and nurses who provide advice to those patients in remote areas, or to women who do not venture fat from their homes. They address issues by providing accessibility to people who cannot afford transportation costs, and have created a network of emergency help that spreads awareness of chronic diseases and identifies possibly problematic issues. They help people recognize symptoms and in cases where a thorough checkup is needed, encourage them to see doctors. Working side by side with Telehealth are the community health workers, who reach out to underprivileged areas, and help with maternal and neo-natal care, malaria, acute infections and addictions. They operate through mobile clinics and setups where hospitals are not available.

TheAmanghar initiative empathizes with the plight of parents who are unable to provide their children with proper nutrition. They aim to reduce malnutrition and provide an incentive for children to come to school by providing them free nutritious meals each day. TheAman Foundation currently provides 2600 meals a day to children in KhuddaKi Basti and plan on turning this into a model to be adapted by the government and other institutions.

The second area of concentration for the Aman Foundation is education. The founders of Aman Trust are mindful of the needs of this country and the appalling lack of education and training institutes that could equip the people to better their standard of living.

Under its education program, Aman Foundation has introduced Amantech, to target the unskilled labor force, and turn them into skilled, trained workers who then have better job prospects. In duration of 12 months, the trainees can be trained in automobile, electric mechanical engineering, as well as refrigeration and air-conditioning, fabrication and welding and pipe work they can also be educated in soft skills like CAD, English language and basic computing. They are then offered jobs with various national and international organizations, increasing both their earning ability and standard of living.

Their second program, targeting younger school-going-children, who do not have good teachers and are unable to gain quality education, is the Teach for Pakistan program. It recruits university graduates for fully paid positions to teach these children for two years each, providing them with skills, and adequate education to allow them to meet their own needs in the future.

Though as yet, Aman foundation is based in Karachi, it intends to in the coming year spread its influence into Khyber Pakhtoonkwa by setting up a base in Peshawar.

In this way, Aman Foundation influences the two most important needs, health and education, for people of all ages. It affects, with its education program, a large group of people, providing them with an education and skill set that enables them to become self-sustaining. With its focus on health, it helps in both preventative and curative measures, reaching out to people who may not be able to help themselves. The compassion and empathy shown by the Aman foundation, and the initiative they have taken to better the lives of peoples in all walks of life, has turned it into one of the most reliable institutes that will probably bring about significant changes in the years to come.



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