'There was an instantaneous meeting of minds," commented Shahrukh Hasan, Group Managing Director of the Jang Group of Pakistan, talking about the strategic partnership between Aman ki Asha and the Rotary Clubs of Pakistan and India.
Some of the parameters of this newly formed partnership include setting up 30 state-of-the-art eye hospitals in Pakistan, establishing family and student exchanges between India and Pakistan, and developing Youth Leadership Awards. A major component of this project, the 'Gift of Life' programme, aims at facilitating 200 heart surgeries a year in India for underprivileged children from Pakistan - totally free of cost.
"And 200 is just a conservative estimate, a launching pad," said Kamal Sanghvi, trustee of the Rotary Indian Humanitarian Fund (RIHF), who was in Karachi last week to sign the Memorandum of Understanding. "There is no time to breathe," he added, laughing.
Given Rotary and Aman ki Asha's shared goals of bringing people and communities together and promoting peace, this is a very natural partnership.
Rotary International has a proud legacy of promoting cultural exchanges, building ties and promoting philanthropy that stretches over a century. Aman ki Asha, the peace initiative launched by the Jang Group and the Times of India on January 1, 2010, seeks to promote peace between India and Pakistan by creating an enabling environment for dialogue and developing people-to-people contact at all levels.
There is tremendous affinity and goodwill between the people of the two countries, as evident not only at many Aman ki Asha events but also at other Indo-Pak peace initiatives - an affinity and goodwill that is constantly stymied by inertia or hostility at the government level, that dampens the people's aspirations and frustrates and thwarts many good intentions. 'We need some victories,' goes the oft-repeated refrain.
This is what makes the Aman ki Asha and Rotary Club Partnership so significant - the partnership leverages the respective strengths of both organisations and of the two countries to benefit some of the most vulnerable in both societies. This is a partnership that will utilise the extensive network of the Rotary Club and the reach of the Jang Group to the benefit of those who need it the most.
Rotary International has been actively facilitating exchanges between India and Pakistan since March 2000, when Rotarians from Pakistan and India came together to sign the Karachi Declaration and discuss ways in which the countries can cooperate on all levels. Rotarians from Pakistan and India have also signed friendship treaties that aim to promote peace through community service. Additionally, Rotarians from Pakistan and India have implemented various family exchanges, youth exchanges and many community service projects. Rotarians from India have sponsored heart surgeries for over 150 children from Pakistan. Through matching grants, Rotary Pakistan has supported surgeries for many children in India.
For just over a year now, Aman ki Asha has been highlighting the cost of the conflict through various events, programmes and an intensive media campaign. The campaign has illustrated the many social, economic, political and personals benefits of peace. In May 2010, Aman ki Asha helped facilitate medical treatment for three-year old Rayyan, who had to go to India for a cochlear implant.
Events such as these and the scores more that are to follow as a result of the Aman ki Asha and Rotary Club partnership, constitute the real victories in a personal sense and in the context of Indo-Pak relations. They will give hundreds the opportunity to lead a normal, healthy life, and will restore hope to scores of families. This is a partnership that will tangibly show the innumerable, immeasurable benefits of peace and of corporation.
'This partnership will," as Kamal Sanghvi put it smilingly, "bring the Aman into Aman ki Asha."
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
"Interdependence" Day and beyond
By Ilmana Fasih
As the dates approach, the excitement is increasing. The event is "Celebrate India, Paki .....more
Continuing the ongoing email exchange between a Mumbaikar and a Lahori
From: Chintan Girish Modi
Date: Sun, Jul 22, 2012
Subject: The next in .....more
Court may put pressure on government to release all Indian prisoners who have completed their awarded sentence
Justice Iftikhar Hu .....more
Pranab Mukherjee and Aman ki Asha
We extend our congratulations to the newly elected Indian President Pranab Mukherjee. His visionary words, spoken as .....more
The late sixties and seventies saw the prime Rajesh Khanna... when indian cenema made a comeback into the lives of Pakistanis, who till then had been forced to rel .....more
Salman Bashir, formerly Pakistan's Foreign Secretary and Ambassador to China, is Islamabad's new High Commissioner to India. In his first Indian .....more
Page 38 of 174
The News on Sunday Special Report: India Pakistan prisoners more editions
We probably didn't need to do this Special Report. Newspaper stories don't matter when it comes to Indians in Pakistani jails and vice versa. In fact, 'vice versa' sums it up. We do to them what they do to us.
Except when the two countries decide to begin talking, yet again! This time a little before the foreign secretary level talks, some Pakistani prisoners were released by India (and vice versa must have happened) and some more were release....read more
For the past 2 years the Jang Group and Geo have been working on a project of great national interest; one that we hope will help usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the country and indeed, in the region. And one that hopefully all Pakistanis can be proud of. more
The Jang Group has entered into an agreement with the Times of India Group, the largest media group of India, to campaign for peace betw