At a groundbreaking meeting held on the sidelines of the Aman ki Asha Health Committee meeting in New Delhi on July 31, 2011, members of the Joint Working Group of Rotary and Aman ki Asha of India and Pakistan reviewed progress on current programmes and how to take forward other ideas, particularly those related to health and youth.
The meeting discussed Rotary-Aman ki Asha Heart to Heart programme that seeks to provide healthcare to children with congenital heart diseases. This project has been so successful that the Working Group agreed to expand it to more than the 200 cases agreed upon earlier.
The working group also decided to enhance the capacity building of hospitals and doctors in Pakistan in the field of Congenital Heart Disease in order to expand and further develop this specialty.
Rotary Pakistan is already working with National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), Karachi, to support the enhancement of facilities for children as well as adults.
The Rotary-Aman ki Asha partnership commits 50 surgeries for deserving children at NICVD. This partnership will also provide technological support to the institution, and send young Pakistani doctors to various cardiac related hospitals to gain awareness and know-how. In addition, the delegates discussed the option of getting a team of expert surgeons from India to perform related surgeries in Pakistan.
The working group also discussed the possibility of starting two eye hospitals in Pakistan. Rotary representatives informed the meeting that a number of other projects in the fields of health and education are being planned and executed in both India and Pakistan.
Programmes in a number of other fields are also being initiated. One of the most exciting is the quarterly exchange programme for youth between both countries, agreed upon by the Working Group.
A dozen young men and women from India and Pakistan each will visit each other's country to stay with the families of Rotary members for 10 to 14 days. These young people will not only be exposed to the cultural dynamics of the families they will live with or meet but will also get the opportunity to learn about the business and professional achievements in various fields on both sides of the border. Ideally, this youth exchange will contribute towards building better understanding, developing goodwill and building peace in the region.
Similarly the Working Group agreed to facilitate family exchange programmes where families from both sides of the border will have a two-week exchange programme in which they will stay at each other's homes. Such exchanges will also help building the bonds of friendship and goodwill.
The Rotary-Aman ki Asha working group will continue quarterly meetings to monitor progress and also further expand the programmes discussed.
The meeting was attended by Shahrukh Hasan, Jang Group Managing Director; Amin Hashwani, President of India-Pakistan CEO's Business Forum; Laleh Habib, Coordinator Aman ki Asha; Shehkar Mehta, Rotary International Director and Chairman Rotary India Humanity Foundation; Faiz Kidwai, Regional Rotary Foundation Chair and Chairman Rotary Humanitarian Trust Pakistan; Kamal Sanghvi, Past Governor Rotary; Iqbal Qureshi, Governor Rotary; Pervez Ahsan, Governor Rotary, and Irfan Qureshi.
The recent meeting of Rotary and Aman ki Asha in New Delhi was an opportunity for us to meet as well as discuss plans and strategies for developing goodwill and peace in the region.
I feel it is now essential for us to attract as many stakeholders as possible for the development of social sectors in both countries. Let us put in our stakes in the form of sharing our talent, thought, time and treasure to mobilise and develop the social sectors across the border.
The partnership between Aman ki Asha and Rotary is perhaps one of the finest happenings of recent times where our common objectives are most effectively and perhaps more naturally matched. It will certainly help bringing some relief for the deserving human beings living in the two countries.
The high stakes in the development of the social sector by the business communities will also help them in entering each other's market.
-- Faiz Kidwai
Regional Rotary Foundation Chair and Chairman Rotary Humanitarian Trust, Pakistan
A healthy agreement
The recently held Aman ki Asha Health Committee meeting in Delhi was grounded in a well founded premise, which also cascaded into the meeting's declaration (See Aman ki Asha website, direct link: http://bit.ly/nu0DxC).
Striving towards "the shared goal of saving lives, serving humanity and improving the health and well being of all people" and "addressing inequities in health and the excess mortality, morbidity and disability, especially in poor and marginalised populations" are objectives which transcend boundaries and bind humanity together in today's interdependent globalised world.
We are pleased to have reached an agreement over these and a number of other covenants articulated within the declaration, which now serves as the framing context within which we are committed to pursuing mutual learning, sharing of experiences and exploring avenues for collaboration.
The links between health, foreign policy, human security policy and development are deepening in the face of economic and environmental threats the interconnected world is now increasingly faced with. This reiterates the need to fully appreciate the importance of human security related humanitarian and development goals in public policy agendas, both individually in each country as well as collectively as a bilateral pursuit.
Within this broader context, I earnestly hope this initiative can contribute as a catalyst for peace and an entry point to building bridges. The warm welcome we received in Delhi, for which I am deeply grateful to my counterpart, Dr Naresh Trehan, indicates that there is every reason for hope.
-- Dr. Sania Nishtar
Chair, Aman ki Asha Health Committee, Pakistan
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
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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.
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