Houston Alliance of Pakistan Floods Relief Efforts First Phase of In-Kind Donation Drive has Started

September 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

2011-09-23T172505Z_869930222_GM1E79O044401_RTRMADP_3_PAKISTAN-FLOODS

A girl, displaced by floods, carries pots as she walks on the trunk of a tree floating in the water near her home in the Badin district of Pakistan’s Sindh province September 23, 2011. The latest floods, triggered by monsoon rains, have killed more than 230 people, destroyed or damaged 1.2 million houses and flooded 4.5 million acres (1.8 million hectares) since late last month, officials and Western aid groups say. More than 300,000 people have been moved to shelters. Some 800,000 families hit by last year’s floods are still homeless. Aid groups have warned of a growing risk of fatal diseases.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

Houston, Texas: Sindh Pakistan has been devastated by the most destructive floods in more than 51 Years. This calamity is even bigger than the Pakistani Floods 2010.

There are many “Blessings in Unity”. Keeping this in perspective, a united effort has been launched in the Greater Houston region to serve Sisters & Brothers in humanity in dire needs. More than thirty organizations and media partners have joined in the efforts and others are being encouraged to join this Alliance.

As the 1st phase of these efforts, collection of In-Kind donation items for Pakistan Floods 2011 victims started on Friday, September 23rd, 2011, and will continue every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday till October 16th, 2011 (can be extended if needed). Monetary Fundraising event(s) will be held sometimes in October 2011.

Mian Nazir, Coordinator of the In-Kind Donation Drive, can be reached at 1-713-922-8458. Following is the In-Kind donation items that patrons of humanity need to graciously bring (NO CLOTHES PLEASE):

High Energy Biscuits – Small Bags of Rice / Lentils / Beans / Salt / Sugar – Small Bottles of Cooking Oil – Snacks items like Chips, Natural Valley Trial Mix, Natural Oats ″N Honey, etc. – Family Tents (both normal and winterized) – Brand New Blankets & Comforters – Brand New Towels – Brand New Plastic Sheets – Mosquito Nets; preferably Long-Lasting Insecticides Treated Mosquito Nets (LLINs) – Hygiene Kits (each kit should include at the minimum one 10-litres water container like bucket for storage, two 250-grams bathing soap, two 200-grams laundry soap, one toothpaste 75-ml/100-g, four tooth brushes, etc.) – Water Purification Systems (preferably family water filter straw) – De-Watering Pumps – Water Purification Tablets – Medicines (over the counter pain, fever, & similar; iron supplements; vitamins; creams for rash & itch; bandages; etc.) – Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) – Storage Box Size 16-Inches x 12-Inches x 12-Inches (from Home Depot or U-Haul).

Also appeal to all the persons bringing the In-Kind donations to please contribute some amount like $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $200, or any amount that will help with the logistics of this In-Kind donation drive and will be used to send all of the In-Kind donation items to Pakistan.

Many volunteers are needed. Community Service Volunteer Hours Certificates and Refreshments will be provided to all the volunteers.

WHERE TO COME TO VOLUNTEER & BRING THE IN-KIND DONATION ITEMS

Pakistan Center, 12638 Bissonett (at South Dairy Ashford), Houston, Texas 77099

IN-KIND DONATION COLLECTION & VOLUNTEERIG SHIFTS

Fridays, September 30th, October 07th, & 14th, 2011: 5:30pm.-8:30pm. – Saturdays, October 01st, 08th, & 15th, 2011: 9:30am.-12:30pm / 1:30pm.-4:30pm. / 5:30pm.-8:30pm. – Sundays, October 02nd, 09th, 16th, 2011: 12-Noon-3:00pm. / 3:00pm.-6:00pm.

Everyone needs to volunteer and encourage others to volunteer, donate the In-Kind items, and give some monetary assistance to properly run this In-Kind donation drive. Involvement of members of all of Alliance’s organizations; and all Houstonians, including organizations’ patrons, other community-based organizations, honorable elected officials, mainstream media, and others; everyone’s participation is needed for this crucial humanitarian cause.

Corporate stores like Wal*Mart, Sam’s Club, Pharmaceutical Companies, and others can be approached and encouraged to participate and donate generously to assist the humanity in dire needs.
For more information, one can reach Saeed Sheikh, Coordinator of Alliance of Pakistan Floods Relief Efforts, 1-281-948-1840 / Talat Talpur, Treasurer of Alliance of Pakistan Floods Relief Efforts, 1-832-594-2159 / ILyas Choudry, Secretary of Alliance of Pakistan Floods Relief Efforts, 1-832-275-0786;

Alliance Members as of Monday, September 26th, 2011 are (in alphabetical order): 1) Pakistan Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund 2011 – 2) Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) South Texas Chapter – 3) Hashoo Foundation USA – 4) Helping Hand [USA] For Relief & Development (HHRD) – 5) HOPE – 6) Houston-Istanbul Sister City Association (HISCA) – 7) Houston-Karachi Sister City Association (HKSCA) – 8) Muslim Council of USA – 9) Pakistani-American Association of Greater Houston (PAGH) – 10) Pakistan Association of Golden Triangle (PAGT) – 11) Pakistani-American Society of Texas (PAST) – 12) Pakistan Chamber of Commerce USA (PCC-USA) – 13) Raindrop Helping Hands – 14) Raindrop Turkish House – 15) Red Cross – 16) Shifa Healthcare – 17) Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) – 18) Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) – 19) Sun Charity – 20) The Citizens Foundation – 21) Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB)…
Media Partners: 1) Pakistan Chronicle – 2) Pakistan Journal – 3) Pakistan News – 4) Pakistan Post – 5) Pakistan Times – 6) Radio Houston – 7) Radio Light Of Islam – 8) Radio Music-in-the-Box – 9) Radio Naya Andaz – 10) Radio Sangeet…

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CCN to Host Free Health Screenings at 48th Annual ISNA Convention

June 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Compassionate Care Network (CCN) to provide free health screenings and Bone Marrow Donor Registration Drive at ISNA Convention

CCN Health Screening1CCN Health Screening2CCN Health Screening3(Chicago, IL – June 9, 2011) As thousands of Muslims across the United States prepare to attend the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) 48th Annual Convention on July 1-4 in Rosemont, IL, Compassionate Care Network (CCN) is pleased to announce it will once again host the ISNA Health Fair and provide free health screenings for convention  attendees.
CCN will offer free health screenings for BMI and Body Fat Determinations, Hypertension, Diabetes, Dental Health, and new this year, the Carotid Doppler Ultrasound for stroke risk.”We’re excited that this year we have expanded our health screenings to include Cartoid Doppler Ultrasound. This test to screen for stroke risk is  pretty expensive (over $500 value) and to offer it for free is indeed a big service to our community by CCN’s  Imaging Service Provider Batuta,” says Dr. Azher Quader, CCN Executive Director. CCN will also conduct a bone marrow donor registry drive and operate the convention’s First Aid station.

Additionally, CCN will offer those with high BMIs and diagnosed as overweight and obese an opportunity to enroll into its Weight Management Program, a 90-day health coaching program for those at risk for obesity related diseases and desire to lose weight. For Illinois residents who lack health insurance, enrollment will be available into CCN’s low-cost health care network program as well.
CCN’s participation in ISNA’s Health Fair is in furthering  its mission to promote health awareness within the community through  free health education and  free health screenings and to  provide access to affordable health care for the uninsured. 

About CCN

Founded in 2004 by Chicago doctors Azher Quader, M. Gafoor & Ayesha Sultana, practicing physicians and community activists, Compassionate Care Network (CCN) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts free health screenings around the Chicagoland area and offers  access to affordable  health care for the uninsured. Currently, CCN serves over 2500 Illinois residents. For a small annual fee, the uninsured  enrolled in the network have access to over 120 physicians, 6 medical labs, 13 imaging centers, and other health care services like Dentistry, Optometry, Chiropractic care, Physical Therapy and Podiatry. All network health care providers support the notion of “compassionate care” and voluntarily offer services to the uninsured at discounted rates. For more information please visit www.ccnchicago.com or call 773-776-3600. 

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Indo-Pak Nuclear Handshake Affirmed By Soldiers’ Diwali Celebrations

October 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

By Nilofar Suhrawardy, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS) India Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Ironically, festival time spelt celebrations and exchange of pleasantries between Indian and Pakistani soldiers at the international border, even though diplomatic relations between the countries continue to be strained since last year’s Mumbai-strikes. Marking Diwali, the festival of lights (October 17), at the joint check post at Attari Border, the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) Commandant S.H. Dhillon handed over seven boxes of traditional Indian sweets and a big basket of fruits to the Wing Commander of Pakistan Rangers Mohhammad Akbar Ali Bhatt. Soldiers of both the countries shook hands and interacted with each other exchanging pleasantries. Similarly, the two sides exchanged greetings at Chakan-da-Bagh crossing point along Line of Control (LoC).  Representing the Indian side, Colonel J.P. Yadav handed over eight boxes of sweets and dry fruits to Pakistani side led by Colonel Asad. While exchanging greetings, they also prayed for peace between India and Pakistan. Border security officials from the two sides exchanged sweets last month also, celebrating Eid.

While exchange of pleasantries at the border between soldiers of two sides has not hit headlines globally or nationally, it certainly conveys a strong message. Though as their respective national security demands, they are prepared for war, India and Pakistan certainly seem in no mood to reach even a near-war or a war-like stage at least in the near future. In fact, probability of an open conflict between India and Pakistan has been ruled out since the two attained nuclear prowess and subsequently reached a nuclear understanding with each other. This point is being specifically made as it defies the claim made by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch in his new book, The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President (Simon & Schuster), about India and Pakistan being on the verge of a nuclear conflict in the late nineties.

There is nothing astonishing or even new about Branch’s claim as United States has been apprehensive about nuclear policies pursued by India as well as Pakistan from the very beginning. United States has always been against their proliferation drive and has repeatedly tried securing their signatures to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). When India initially stepped onto the nuclear path, followed by Pakistan, Washington raised hue and cry over it, emphasizing that it would take the subcontinent only towards MAD, that is Mutually Assured Destruction.

Branch has repeated the old US-stance against the rise of nuclear prowess in subcontinent by drawing attention to there having prevailed the possibility of a Indo-Pak nuclear war in 1999 over the Kargil-conflict. Well, the risk of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan over numerous issues, such as Kashmir, terrorism and others has been a permanent one. It shall remain so probably for decades to come. It is indeed paradoxical that the superpower has failed to credit the two nations, particularly the Indian government for not reaching the war-stage even in 1999, despite all the preparations being in place. India’s nuclear diplomacy prevailed. It defeated the US apprehension that Indian nuclear prowess would spell destruction. Indian nuclear diplomacy strongly signaled the victory of deterrence pact it had entered into with Pakistan against the criticism levied by United States towards their proliferation drive. Signed by then Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto on December 31, 1988, the two countries agreed not to attack each other’s nuclear installations and facilities. Notwithstanding all the hype raised over the stall in the Indo-Pak dialogue process, the two countries have continued to practise this agreement which entered into force on January 27, 1991. They inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities covered by the agreement on first January of every calendar year. Despite the Mumbai-terrorist strikes serving as a diplomatic irritant, they exchanged the lists this year too.

True, the Kargil-issue nearly brought India and Pakistan to the stage of an open conflict. Without doubt, India as Big Brother in the region had (and has) options to display an aggressive approach towards its neighbors by reaching the war-stage when provoked by external elements desirious of chaos and instability in South Asia. The Kargil-issue followed by several terrorist incidents, including the Mumbai-strikes, provoked by extremist elements across the border are all suggestive of designs contemplated to incite the two nuclear powers to the stage of an open conflict. If they did, it would add credence to apprehensions voiced by United States that India and Pakistan are not diplomatically mature enough to pursue the proliferation drive. It is time that Washington revised its opinion about fears it has entertained against India’s nuclear drive from the beginning.

Nuclear diplomacy as laid out and followed by Indian government should be viewed as a perfect example of a nuclear power’s foreign policy towards another country, even though it may entertain long-lasting differences with it on certain crucial issues. Branch’s reference to India and Pakistan having almost reached the stage of nuclear war in late nineties may well be viewed as a reiteration of old stand entertained by United States against proliferation drive in South Asia. Rather than question Indian nuclear diplomacy, which has only been successfully practiced till date, United States needs to reconsider whether its own nuclear diplomacy has been equally successful or not. War games played by the superpower in Iraq and Afghanistan can hardly be signaled as a success of United States’ nuclear diplomacy. War only spells failure of diplomacy. The Indo-Pak nuclear handshake together with their symbolic exchange of greetings on festive occasions at the border itself defeat all the hype entertained by Uncle Sam about their preparing for a MAD nuclear war.

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