PHDF Board Members &
Friends Visit NCHD Mansehra Earthquake Relief Camps
By Pervaiz Lodhie
Torrance, CA: I recently visited
Pakistan and as a Board of Director of NCHD/PHDF was part
of an international group that was taken to an aerial tour
of the entire Oct 8th 2005 massive earthquake area in Northern
On Dec30th, 2005 I attended the NCHD/PHDF dinner given in
honor of all the Disaster Relief Helicopter pilots. It was
held at State Minister Dr Nasim Ashraf’s residence.
Each helicopter pilot was recognized and given an NCHD Shield.
Glimpses of the visit of the NCHD/PHDF
Board members to the quake- affected areas
On Dec31st about 20 of us
were taken to the earthquake area aboard a Russian Relief
Helicopter. The group included Brigadier General (Retd)
Butler from UK, Irshad Khoker of UK, Shoaib Kothewala of
Los Angeles, Najeeb Ghauri of Los Angeles, myself Pervaiz
Lodhie, Dr Omar Atiq of APPNA, Dr Reza Bokhari of APPNA,
Dr Farooq Abdullah from Las Vegas, Dr Nasim Ashraf and NCHD
We flew over the mountain ranges of the affected area which
included Mansehra, Balakot, Muzaffarabad, Chikar and Bagh.
Looking at the mountain ranges through the small round window
of the helicopter and seeing scattered homes built everywhere
one wonders how the people built them in those impossible
steep locations and how they got their necessary supplies
or dealt with emergencies. You could see large areas of
mulitple landslides, almost a grayish white splattering
on the naturally colored mountains, that took place during
the earthquake. The largest landslide is visible above Muzaffarabad.
One face of the entire large mountainside is gone. It is
NCHD/PHDF workers and volunteers were in Mansehra district
when the earthquake hit. NCHD was able to immediately mobilize
all its members and volunteers into life-saving relief work
which it is still going on in most of the affected areas.
Our group landed on a temporary helipad made for us at one
of the worst affected villages of Devli Jabbar in the Mansehra
district. We met and spoke with many villagers. Many villagers
wore NCHD caps and jackets. We heard and saw the details
of the destruction in this village but I was most impressed
by the people’s resilience demonstrated at such a
massive tragedy, and accepting God’s Will and wanting
to move forward with their lives. This is clearly due to
the strong faith of these people.
We next flew on to Nalla Jabbar where NCHD tent medical
facility and the tent primary school is active. Our group
was taken to these locations by jeeps. Slowly but surely
there are signs of life returning to the destroyed villages.
Along the way to the tent facilities we saw large number
of construction tool kits being handed over to the families
along with a specific number of aluminum CGI sheets for
roofs of temporary homes. During our helicopter flight over
the devastated areas we could see shiny tops of newly constructed
shelters made with the aluminum CGI sheets that are being
There had not been much rain or snow by Dec 31st but by
the night of Dec 31 t rain and snow started hitting the
earthquake areas. One can imagine how difficult it must
be for thousands and thousands of people with no shelter,
very few clothes and minus temperatures to survive. The
world has to be reminded that a lot more relief work has
to go on for few years before the region looks normal again.