Michigan Holds Human Development Foundation Fund Raising Dinner
By M. Shahid Yousuf


Muzammil Malik
Dr. Maqbool Ahmad and his wife

The Michigan Chapter of the Human Development Foundation (USA) may have conducted the most successful single fund-raising event ever since its founding within APPNA ( Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America) in 1997.
The gala event held at Westin Hotel at Detroit Metropolitan Airport drew community leaders as well as young volunteers and activists. Included in the audience were numerous past presidents of PAA (Pakistan Association of Michigan), PAFS (Pakistan American Friendship Society), distinguished members from APPNA, members of governing bodies of many mosques and community centers as well as general expatriate Pakistanis all of whom demonstrated manifest love for the country they had left and the people they still love.
The event was organized by core membership of the HDF and included Dr. Zeenat Anwar, Mr. Muzammil Malik, Dr. Iqbal Nasir, Dr. Alamgir Khan, Dr. Nina Khan, Mrs. Rufi Mussani, Mr. Ashraf Kazi, Mr. Shahid Tahir and Ms. Huma. Besides these there were numerous volunteers.
The event was supported by a number of Pakistani fashion boutiques which had set up their booths displaying the latest Pakistani tastes in attire and jewelry. Other sponsors included pharmaceutical companies which had organized three medical seminars preceding the main event of the evening.
HDF’s origins are from APPNA which launched HDF as a gift to the people of Pakistan on the 50th anniversary of Pakistan’s birth. At that time it was known as HDFNA. That event held during the annual summer meeting of APPNA was a landmark event in its history. Numerous distinguished guests graced the occasion on its founding and included famous Pakistani economist late Dr. Mahboob ul Haq who is credited with new ways to measure the progress of nations in human terms, i.e. the human development index (HDI) in 1990. This is now an established United Nation’s standard to measure poverty, literacy and life expectancy. In short, it is a measure of the well being of the population.
The meeting began with a moment of silence for the victims of hurricane Katrina. HDF has already contributed towards the relief efforts for the victims of Katrina. Dr. Zeenat Anwar, announced that APPNA had already disbursed over $50,000 to the relief efforts. Additionally APPNA has contributed in kind with medical expertise and relief efforts.
Keynote speaker Dr. Mahmood Khan and his wife
Dr. Iqbal Nasir and Dr. Zeenat Anwar

The gathering saw a very powerful video presentation of the gravity of the problems facing ordinary Pakistanis and how HDF operations were aiding in micro loans, female literacy, health education and small enterprise formation. The presentation was heard by the audience in rapt silence for they did not wish to miss anything. It was heartening to see humble efforts that were paying off in terms of education, self-reliance and pride of accomplishment. Funds in Pakistan have been disbursed for simple items such as sewing machines, buffaloes, small foundry parts as well as making dams to convert barren desert areas into orchards. HDF project directors in Pakistan were telling the audience in human terms that in addition to goodwill there was a harvest of fulfilled dreams of ordinary Pakistanis.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Mahmood Khan, Vice President of Medical and Scientific Affairs of Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc. USA. His presentation was a moving narration of stark realities such as the fact that some 47 million Pakistanis subsist on $2 or less per day. A photo clip of a hut with a few children playing amongst a heap of garbage was shown. The children’s material possessions consisted of nothing other than the clothes on their backs. But what was endearing to see was that there were smiles on these children’s faces. Dr. Mahmood Khan reminded the audience that these children were not despondent but full of hopes and aspirations and by inference it is our job here to materialize their dreams into achievable goals. He reminded that HDF had supported 1000 organizations in Pakistan. He reminded that Pakistan had become a nation of illiterates.
(L to R) Dr. Zeenat Anwar and Dr. Batool Shaikh
(L to R) Mr. Muzammil Malik, Dr. Zeenat Anwar and Ms. Huma Shaikh

The video, keynote speaker and others like Drs. Zeenat Anwar, Abdulqadir Mussani and Iqbal Nasir repeated the themes. The audience, some 500 strong, was moved and the contributions began to come at first slowly but then picked up pace till some $ 250,000 had been collected. Even small children gave their allowances. At this stage it seemed that the evening would not tap any more resources. Then without any prior announcement Dr. Zeenat Anwar was handed a pledge form. She had meant to read it off the bat but the sum had an action stopping effect. For a moment she held the paper without saying anything. But recomposing herself a few moments later she summoned Dr. and Mrs. Maqbool Ahmed of Carbondale, IL to the stage where she announced that the couple had donated $ 250 000 to the HDF. The whole audience stood up and gave a standing ovation. More funds came pouring in. The final tally is likely to be well in excess of $500,000. This sum is even larger than the sum that was collected in the first HDF Michigan Function which had Princess Sarvath of Jordan among the invitees.
The entertainer for the evening was Jawad Ahmad who for some reason ran out of a lead guitarist. The vacuum was filled by another APPNA and HDF member Dr. Faraz Masood and the musical evening went late into the next morning.
HDF is a civil society organization registered in USA as a 501 (c) 3 organization. It has no relationship with the government of Pakistan and some similar sounding organization like NCHD, PHDF. HDF is about facilitating a movement for human development and works by helping people help themselves in Pakistan.
HDF is co-chaired by Dr. Khalid Riaz (IL) and Dr. Shahnaz Khan (FL). It is a distinct entity and should not be confused with other similarly sounding names. HDF web page elaborates on this question of differences between HDF and other organizations.
http://yespakistan.com/HDF/faq.asp#topclarification This site http://yespakistan.com/hdf/ can also be used for online donations.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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