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LAHORE: The Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM), in collaboration with University of Health Sciences (UHS), Akhuwat, Alkhidmat Foundation, Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other organizations, have pledged to build 500 houses for people rendered homeless amid torrential rains in the southern parts of the Punjab province.

Besides, each family residing in these houses will also be provided cattle for their livelihood.

Addressing a fundraising campaign for the flood victims here at the Lahore Press Club, on Sunday, PSIM President and noted physician, Professor Javed Akram, said that it is a climate catastrophe of epic scale, bringing in its wake the humanitarian crisis that could well match the magnitude of the big flood that was witnessed in 2010. At this point, both sides of the Indus are flooded in Sindh and South Punjab, which is the current epicenter of the calamity. The shelter is dangerously impacted in many areas. People are adrift, and livestock and crops are damaged. It is a humanitarian disaster of unprecedented monsoon proportions, he added.

Stressing the need for urgent and immediate relief measures, Prof. Akram said, “The current climate catastrophe needs immediate international and national mobilization of humanitarian efforts, not just in the form of food, shelter, and basic survival amenities but we need to amplify our rescue and rehabilitation efforts”.

The PSIM President further said he and his fellows would visit the flood-hit areas of Dera Ghazi Khan on Monday to review the situation and select five places where a village of 100 houses each would be set up for homeless people. He said that the project has been named “Aapki Basti”. Prof. Rizwan Zafar would be the PSIM Coordinator Flood Relief Campaign. Immediate rehabilitation of the affected people would be our priority, he added.

Prof. Javed Akram recounted that during the 2010 floods, he as the Principal, Allama Iqbal Medical College Lahore, led relief activities in Tehsil Karor, Layyah district of Punjab where he and his team consisting of faculty and students helped re-build a village comprising around 100 houses which were later named after him. He said that under the banner of PSIM, medical treatment would also be provided to rain-affected people of the area who have taken shelter at safer places leaving their homes inundated as a result of heavy rains. He called upon affluent people across the country to reach out and assist the PSIM and its doctors in every possible way.

“I appeal to all more opulent people to come forward and help us in attending to the medical and rehabilitation needs of flood victims. PSIM needs building materials, contractors and labourers, dry rations, and bottled water and we believe that this urgent need can easily be fulfilled with the support of the community,” he stated.

Dr. Amjad Saqib said that faced with exorbitant prices of construction materials and labor cost, the flood victims of these areas were confronted with the monster challenge of rebuilding of their houses destroyed during torrential rains and flash floods that wreaked havoc on people’s lives and properties.

Others who spoke included PSIM Secretary General, Dr. Somia Iqtidar, senior vice presidents, Prof. Azizur Rehman, Prof. Tariq Waseem, Prof. Dr. Sajid Obaidullah, and Prof. Aftab Mohsin, Alkhidmat’s national director healthcare, Dr. Muhammad Afzal, Women Chamber of Commerce Lahore’s President, Sam Ali Dada, Pakistan Cardiac Society’s Coordinator Prof. Zubair Akram, and Dr. Shehla Javed Akram.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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