An Investment in the Future of the World
A Pakistan Link Report


Left to right: Dr. Nasim Ashraf, Consul General Ibn-e-Abbas, Pervaiz and Almas Lodhie, Najeeb Ghauri, Ayesha Ghauri and Bill Grady

Rolling Hills, CA: An investment in the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) is an investment in the future of the world. So claimed Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie, CEO Ledtronics Inc., while addressing a select group of community activists at his Rolling Hills residence on Saturday, September 2.
The event brought together prominent Pakistani Americans who have made their mark in various fields. In the spirit of true achievers, the enterprising men and women never feel shy in supporting initiatives aimed at bettering the lot of Pakistanis, especially the disadvantaged, less privileged ones inhabiting the rural parts of Pakistan. Thanks to the generous support of Pakistani Americans, the NCHD program has received a marked boost and has been crowned with multifarious successes.
Enumerating these successes in greater detail, Minister of State and NCHD Chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf informed the gathering that the Commission’s area of operation will be extended to the 100 districts of Pakistan and will covers the entire length and breadth of the country. “All this would not have been possible without your generous help,” he gratefully told the gathering. The handsome chairman with his winsome smile claimed his organization provides hope of a wholesome change to the country’s teeming millions. “It restores human dignity and provides an opportunity to the common man to move forward.” Given its successes in the short span of four years, NCHD appears destined to play a catalytic role in achieving the United Nation’s millennium development goals.
In just four years NCHD has managed to make a significant contribution to improving primary education and health care provision in Pakistan, with millions of beneficiaries. Perhaps more important is the way these results have been achieved: promoting public-private partnerships, building capacities, mobilizing communities to help themselves.


Pictures above: Glimpses of the NCHD Fundraiser at the Rolling Hills residence of Pervaiz and Almas Lodhie on September 2, 2006

NCHD provides support to Government line departments, NGOs and district governments in delivery of primary education, promoting literacy, income-generating activities and provision of basic health care services. NCHD thus fills the gaps in education and health service delivery. Says Dr Nasim Ashraf: “NCHD has come a long way, but the challenge of promoting human development in Pakistan remains formidable. I hope you will continue to support us in facing this challenge, and making a difference for the people of this great nation.”
Several speakers, including Pakistan’s Consul General Syed Ibne Abbas, Mr Najeeb Ghauri of Netsol, Mr Bill Grady, Chief-of-Staff of US Congresswoman Linda Sanchez and member of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus, Mr Reza Akif, Field Representative of US Congresswoman Jane Harman who is also on the Congressional Pakistan Caucus and Mrs. Ayesha Ghauri, made brief but scintillating remarks. They were all praise for the National Commission for Human Development’s sustained strivings to improve the lot of the common man in Pakistan. The Consul General proudly mentioned that the 2006 UNESCO International Reading Association Literacy Prize has been awarded to NCHD for its National Literacy Program. To-date NCHD has set up 21,000 Adult Literary Centers where 500,000 people have been taught to read.
Ayesha Ghauri recalled her recent visit to NCHD’s centers in Pakistan. “I was amazed at what was actually being done.” At Thatta, Mansehra and Balakot women who could barely identify a single alphabet of Urdu were able to read paragraphs in the span of a few weeks. The NCHD is making a big difference. “Your money is being well spent,” she assured the gathering.
Mr. Najeeb Ghauri introduced Dr Ashraf to the audience. “He has created the NCHD and we are privileged to be a part of it,” he remarked. To the delight of the gathering, he disclosed that the NCHD will have a new director, Mr Shoaib Kothawala, from the Los Angeles area. Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie and Mr. Najeeb Ghauri are founding directors of the NCHD/PHDF initiative. Mr. Kothawala made a generous donation of $200,000 to the NCHD funds on the occasion.
Mr. Bill Grady and Mr. Reza Akif, representing Congresswomen Linda Sanchez and Jane Harman respectively, also spoke on the occasion. Mr. Grady emphasized the importance of political activism “to organize and make your interests heard.” This point was earlier stressed by Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie who has established the Pakistani Congressional caucus in Washington to air the views of the Pakistani people on Capitol Hill. “We have a political lobby in Washington. We have made a beginning. We are making friends with the Congressmen. We have made a difference,” Mr. Lodhie said. He exhorted the community to extend support to this well-meaning effort.
The guests fully enjoyed the warm hospitality of the Lodhies and greatly relished the tasty food and choicest dishes in what appeared to be an entrancing setting. Kiran Lodhie’s recitation from the Holy Qur’an and Shaan Lodhie’s playing of the national anthem seemed to impress one and all. Mr. Ahmed Ali, former President of COPAA, admirably conducted the auction. (Pictures by Naushad Sarwar)

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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