Medical Supplies Worth $ 600,000 Distributed to 21 Hospitals and Orphanages – Benefited over 200,000 Poorest of the Poor

This is a story of how an acquaintance led to an opportunity of Service in Rotary. Rtn. Charlie Biederman, a member of Rotary Club of Waitsfield / Vermont, U.S.A. (Dist. 9250) led a GSE team to Pakistan in 1987.  In Karachi, he stayed with PDG Akhtar Alavi and the two good Rotarians became friends sharing a passion for Service in Rotary.  1997 was the year when there were over 3 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan.  Charlie saw, for the first time, the plight of Afghan refugees and felt the compassion of people of Pakistan who wanted to help their neighboring guests.

On his return to US, Charlie Biederman came to know of a project called Sharing Around (The World) Medical Project of Dist. 6220 comprising Rotary Clubs of North Eastern Wisconsin and Upper Valley Michigan.  The Rotarians of Dist. 6220 had initiated the project in 1993 and are since then, sending regularly containers of Medical Supplies to Africa every year.  Charlie called up a childhood friend, a Rotarian in Michigan and wondered if one container could be sent to Pakistan for Afghan refugees.

As a result of his efforts, the first 40 feet container carrying 12,000 lbs worth approximately US$ 150,000 of medical supplies was sent by Rotary Club of Appleton to Rotary Club of Karachi, which arrived in Karachi in 2002.  With the help of Rotary Club of Quetta Cosmopolitan, these medical supplies were distributed to all the hospitals in Quetta, who were treating Afghan refugees.

Since then, Rotary Club of Karachi has received four 40 feet containers from Rotary Club Appleton.  These medical supplies were efficiently distributed to numerous organizations around the country.

Rotary Club of Karachi has now received two 40- feet containers of Medical Supplies.  These were stored at PP Dr. Hoshang Ankleseria’s property, where his team of paramedics opened 70 cartons, sorted and made detailed inventory.  After this exercise, the supplies were distributed to 21 institutions involved in providing charity to the poorest of the poor.

This is how an acquaintance resulted in getting three districts of Rotary joining hands for a Service Project.  Rtn. Charlie Biederman died a few years ago leaving a legacy of a Service Project that continues till today.

All members of Rotary Club of Karachi have witnessed for the last several years, a remarkable service project between three Rotary Districts, worlds apart but united for the cause of bringing hope to the less privileged of our world.

Please join in recognizing the key players who played a great role in bringing a humble beginning to the scope at which we are today.

PDG Aziz Memon, ever ready to give his time especially being a successful businessman and truly a great Rotarian, has contributed considerable time to nurture and strengthen the ties required to bring this project to fruition. On his frequent visits to the USA, he and PDG Akhtar Alavi made a point to travel to Appleton and meet Rtn. Charlie Biederman and his fellow Rotarians, thus making the bonds stronger.

We recognize all the Rotarians from RC Appleton, who not only received PDG Aziz Memon with affection and extended warm hospitality, but also widened the net of co-operation. Rtn.Charlie arranged a donation of US $ 10,000 for our literacy projects and called PDG Aziz a week before he passed away to make sure that the project was implemented.

Recognition is also due to all the Rotarians of RCK who worked tirelessly to make this happen. To name a few for their outstanding services:

PP Najmul Ain Khan accompanied PDG Akhtar and PP Wasim Mirza to Quetta to distribute the first container shipment to Afghan refugees.

Rtn. Ajaz Saya was the “recipient” of more than one container, housing the goods at his premises and with his colleagues stored, sorted out all the supplies and then distributed to the deserving beneficiaries.

PP Mohammed Ovais was always there whenever he was needed – ever ready to do what was required to cross the hurdles.

And now we come to the present. With great leadership qualities, President Talaat Tyabji set up a Medical Supplies Distribution Committee whose members included PDGs Akhtar and Aziz; PPs Dr Hoshang Anklesaria, Chair, Service Projects;  Muhammad Ovais, Wasim Mirza and Rtn Dr Feroz Ismail. The committee chaired by the President and also attended by VP Masood Shaikh, PE S.M.Ehtishamullah, Treasurer Ajaz Saya, Hon Secretary Zeenat Karim, met 2-3 times every week for over two months to supervise the unpacking of the supplies, which were sorted and a detailed inventory was prepared.

PP Dr.Hoshang Ankelseria and his team who took upon themselves to receive the biggest one time medical supplies – two 40-ft containers! This by any standard was a huge logistical challenge.

PP Dr Hoshang and Rtn Dr Feroz Ismail supervised the unloading of the 70 cartons, when it arrived at 4:00AM at the property of Dr Hoshang, who gave his house with guards, as well as provided a team of paramedics who were supervised by the Rotarians, who helped in custom clearance, unloading, unpacking, sorting, preparing a detailed inventory, contacting hospitals/institutions who sent teams for selecting supplies as per their needs; medicines and equipment, lists were made and distribution was supervised. A very big THANK YOU to PP Dr. Hoshang Anklesaria.

This process took nearly two months. Supplies were delivered to 21 institutions out of which Rotarians visited 11 institutions. Supplies were given to the largest government and not-for-profit hospitals/ institutions for cancer patients, women, special children, orphans and mentally challenged people, where thousands of indigent patients are served irrespective of class, colour, creed, gender or religion

Government and private institutions received state-of-the-art equipment of international standards, medical and surgical supplies which are neither locally available nor affordable by these organizations. Eventually, the end-user, the poorest of the poor patients, women and children benefited from these supplies which would enhance the quality of their treatment as well as care. We estimate about 200,000 indigent people are the beneficiaries of these supplies. The Distribution List of Medical Supplies is given below:

1.         Anklesaria Nursing Home

2.         Burhani Hospital

3.         Civil Hospital, Surgery Ward

4.         Civil Hospital

5.         Dar-ul- Sukoon

6.         J.P.M.C., Cancer Ward

7.         J.P.M.C., Gynae Ward

8.         Lyari General Hospital

9.         National Institute of Child Health (NICH)

10.       S. I. U. T.

11.       HMB Trust Hospital, Shikarpur

12.       St. Luke’s Church

13.       Usman Memorial Hospital

14.       Memon Hospital

15.       Don Boscoe Boy Orphanage

16.       Ayesha Clinic

17.       Rotary Club of Karachi Community Centre

18.       Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar

19.       Ida Rieu Welfare Association

20.       Mirpurkhas

21.       Anjuman Kashana-e-Atfal-o-Nonehal

RCK paid Rs 254,169 for the clearance charges.