Lighting the Way for
Pakistan 7.6-Magnitude Earthquake Relief
By Loretta Conley
the 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck northwest Pakistan on
October 8, thousands of people live in utter darkness once
the sun goes down. Now, light is on the way. Responding
with urgency to the call for help, Pakistani-American Pervaiz
Lodhie, owner of solid-state lighting manufacturer LEDtronics
Inc., express shipped ,2000 of his company's LED flashlights
to Pakistan. Another 3,600 LED flashlights are being sent
this month with another 7,000 going shortly after that.
Horrified by scenes of devastation in his homeland, Lodhie
took action - first, contributing to Pakistani President
Musharraf's Quake Relief Fund, and then investigating what
material assistance he could provide. Learning of the critical
need for sustainable portable lighting, Lodhie knew it was
a task that he was uniquely positioned to fulfill. "It
is ideal that LEDtronics specializes in energy-efficient,
solid-state lighting. The flashlights were sitting in the
stockroom ready to go," says Lodhie.
LED flashlights are perfect for use in the arduous conditions
existing in post-quake Pakistan. Their ruggedly constructed
exteriors and internal components are nearly indestructible.
They operate for up to six continuous days on a set of batteries
unlike traditional flashlights, an important consideration
due to the sporadic access to supplies. Additionally, LED
flashlights eliminate the threats of burns, flames, fumes,
spills and explosions of kerosene-fueled lamps.
The enormity of the disaster is unimaginable. More than
54,000 thousand people are dead, 3.3 million are homeless,
and the area's infrastructure is decimated. Recovery will
take decades. As Lodhie prepares another shipment of long-operating
LED lighting products (solar-powered LED lanterns, LED candles
and LED-illuminated safety vests) for the earthquake victims
and rescuers, he is talking with competitors within his
industry about contributing aid. Lodhie believes the scale
of the tragedy transcends businesses, religions, ethnicities
and politics. Lodhie adds, "It's the time for us to
rise above our differences and help in this human tragedy."
Lodhie offers to facilitate any donations to the relief
effort. He works with Indus Earth Trust, an NGO dedicated
to alleviating poverty in Pakistan and is an organization
with which Lodhie has collaborated with on many other projects,
to handle the distribution of goods in Pakistan. Donations
to the President Musharraf's Quake Relief Fund can be made
to the Pakistan Embassy and Consulates.
Aside from assisting with the earthquake relief, Lodhie
is a tireless champion for Pakistan, promoting Pakistani
businesses and investments. He is a corporate member of
the US-Pakistan Business Council, which is an integral component
of the South Asia Affairs Department at the United States
Chamber of Commerce. Lodhie is also active in Pakistani
American Leadership Center (PALC), a Washington-based organization
dedicated to educating American public on issues related
to Pakistan and Pakistani Americans. It recently helped
found the bi-partisan Congressional Pakistan Caucus.