Charities in NAs strapped for funds
29 September 2007
Gilgit: Orphanages and rehabilitation centres for the disadvantaged people in six districts of the Northern Areas need urgent support otherwise they will have to be closed down, according to Maulana Hafiz Hussain of the Ummah Education Project. He told Dawn on Saturday that the rehabilitation centres and institutions for special children were facing an acute shortage of funds. The issue figured during the recent visit of federal minister for special education and social welfare Zobaida Jalal to Gilgit, he said, but the steps needed were still awaited. He said keeping the welfare organisations running smoothly was a gigantic task and needed attention not only of the government but local philanthropists too. According to some people working for the rehabilitation of the disabled persons, few citizens were motivated enough to provide funds to welfare organisations and charities even though they did donate regularly to religious organisations. They said welfare projects in the Northern Areas lacked funding, buildings, trained teachers, physiotherapists and clinical psychologists while millions of rupees were admittedly wasted every day. They called upon philanthropists to help replicate organisations like the Mehnaz Fatima Educational and Welfare Organisation and the Karakoram Area Development Organisation which were actively engaged in activities to accord due status to the underprivileged groups of society. They also called for the launch of awareness campaigns aimed at bringing about changes in the people’s attitude. They regretted that every year millions of rupees were spent throughout the country from the Zakat funds but the situation obtaining in the NAs did not improve at all.