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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Sindh’s Hindus are suffering the most due to Pakistan Floods – they need our help!

Recent floods in Pakistan have killed almost 1500 people and have displaced around 35 lakh people till now. With 116 cities affected and one-third of the country under water, Sindh is the worst affected with almost 75% of the province suffering from the effects of these floods. The main cause of these floods are rivers breaking their banks, flash flooding, and glacial lakes bursting. 

Hindu Sindh Foundation (HSF), a non-profit, progressive humanitarian charity organization based in the USA that strives to work for the betterment and uplifting of the deprived vulnerable communities in Sindh, Pakistan, is currently doing relief work in the most affected areas of Sindh, providing food and basic need items to Pakistani’s minority Hindu community which is suffering the most. 

A food relief camp at Hyderabad bypass, Sindh was organized by Hindu Sindh Foundation and Pakistan Hindu Seva Welfare Trust. An HSF female volunteer team has started visiting all Sindh flood-affected areas to deliver female toilets, kids items, food and basic needs for flood-affected families. One of the biggest problems female Hindus are facing is lack of toilets in the relief camps.

The HSF is raising funds for their relief operation work and conducted an online zoom meeting with the affected people from Pakistan on September 4, 2022. Talking with president Sanjesh Dhanja, social workers and residents shared their grievances and their concerns. You can read HSF’s flood relief appeal here.

The difference in the effects of the flood on the rich and poor was discussed. Those living in mud houses have been brought to the roads and are living in tents with no facilities. Since their houses have been destroyed, there is no place they can go back to even after the flood waters recede. Rehabilitation has become a major issue. The citizens know that the water won’t recede for a very long time, and more intense rainfalls have been predicted in the coming days. 

One of the major problems for people is the unhygienic water in the area which has become the reason of many water-borne diseases among people and animals. According to the social workers, the most affected are children and old-age people who are dying of these diseases. 

Around 95% Hindu community is affected by the floods, most of them are laborers, peasants, and field workers, whose main source of income has been destroyed, and they are left with nothing. With fields destroyed, they have even lost the stock of food they had to get them through the rest of the year. They don’t have any land to their name and are in desperate need of help from the government. 

People complained about the government not doing enough for them. They claimed that other countries are doing more than their own government, which has also banned the activities of many global organizations on the suspicion of ‘spying’. The state is suffering from a lack of resources and doesn’t even have a policy in place to help victims of natural disasters like these. There is no doubt that funds are being raised by the Pakistan government and big global NGOs, but the money is not being distributed fairly due to corruption by the middlemen in the system. 

A social worker, Ranumal, from the district of Umarkot, the only Hindu majority district of Pakistan, shared that around 200+ Hindu families are currently living on roads for over 10 day, there is no electricity in the area for days and there has been almost no relief or help from the state yet. People and animals are dying of diseases, and health issues are constantly increasing.

The workers raised concerns about discrimination in the distribution of funds, on the basis of religion. They shared how funds coming under the pretext of  Zakat (religious duty for all Muslims who meet the necessary criteria of wealth to help the needy) is being reserved for the Muslim community only. Apart from this, poor Hindus are also being targeted as usual by Christian missionaries who are swooping down as soul-harvesting vultures with their ‘help’ aiming to convert the desperate ‘pagans’.

A brutal incident where a Hindu girl was gang-raped for two days by Khaled and Dilsher, on the pretext of giving food and help in Sindh also came to light, highlighting the plight of Pakistani Hindus who are left on their own by the state and their fellow citizens. People of Umarkot have also complained about goons attempting rape on women, who are living on roads with their families. 

A journalist who reported on the plight of Hindu Bhagri community who were expelled from a government relief camp in Ghotki, Sindh has been arrested. In a video shared by activists, the poor people could be seen pleading for help. “We have been expelled for being Hindus. They have refused to provide us with food and water. They think we are not the victims of floods. Where will we go now? How are children supposed to survive”, a woman was heard saying.

The residents and the social workers shared the list of items that they need the most at the moment which includes food, clean water, mosquito nets, and medicines for people and animals. The long-term effects of the floods like the rebuilding of schools that have been destroyed were also discussed. 

Hare Rama Foundation director, Ramesh Jaipal, shared resources and ways how people from all over the world can help and contribute to the relief operations going on. The HSF has also set up a relief fund to continue its rescue operations in the affected areas. 

Help the Hindu community reel from the effects of floods by donating.

Please donate generously by clicking on the following link:

You also can donate to HSF through Zella:  [email protected]

Donors will get a tax-exempt receipt via email.

Given that the annual Pitru Paksha or Shradh period is beginning from tomorrow – September 10, 2022, there can be no better to way to pay obeisance to our departed ancestors than by aiding our suffering Sindhi Hindu sisters and brothers.

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