Saghir Aslam Shares Saba Trust Story with Norco Rotary Club
By Cathy Amend
Mr Saghir Aslam (fourth from right in second row) with members of the Norco Rotary Club
We were delighted to have Mr. Saghir Aslam join us at our Rotary Club meeting to share his wonderful humanitarian work with us.
His organization Saba Aslam Education & Weflare Trust has been working in the field of health, education and alleviation of poverty for the last 43 years.
Mr. Saghir Aslam told us that his organization Saba Trust holds special camps in Pakistan to distribute food, clothing, medicine and other needed items during special occasions such as Easter and Christmas for the Christian community. Distribution were made to different communities regardless of ethnicity or religion as Mr. Aslam believes everyone is equal no matter what country they are from or what religious background they have. He believes we are all God’s creation.
The Trust works with more than 100 groups on many projects, including Deseret International, Sabin’s Children Foundation, the Human Rights Organization and the UN Millennium Development.
In the field of health he set up his first medical clinic in Pakistan in 1965 in a small town. The clinic today sees an average of 250 patients each day. Many tuberculoses patients have been cured at the clinic. He mentioned that he worked with Dr. Ata and others under Tameer A Milat where Falahi Clinic was set up for the poor to get the best treatment. It is set up next to a prominent hospital and is staffed by excellent doctors. He was blessed to receive three state-of-the-art ambulances from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints thanks to the efforts of Bishop Tom Thorkelson. One of the ambulances was donated to National Commission on Human Development headed by his good friend Dr. Nasim Ashraf. The second was donated to Shifa International Hospital and the third to Railway Hospital. All three ambulances are being used as moving clinics in far-flung villages in different parts of Pakistan.
With regards to education, Mr. Aslam and his good friend Mr. Abdul Shakoor, started a one-room school 14 years ago and they now have a degree college with very good Matric results. He mentioned that the school is very popular and there is a waiting list for students to get in. The school is expanding and adding more rooms but so far the demands have been more than what they are able to accommodate. The truly amazing part is that this school is in a village near Kharian; the students and staff travel from 72 different villages covering 42 kilometer area: it may be a one-of-a-kind unique educational institution in Pakistan.
The Trust’s main focus now is on the unique, one-of-a-kind, history-in-the-making orphanage. It is a four-story building that will house orphan girls ages 4 to 7 years old. Basheer John — one of Pakistan’s top artists — has been painting murals of popular local fables along the walls of the classrooms and other images all over the facility that depict unity and tolerance, ideas that Mr. Aslam says he wishes to instill in the girls through their education. The orphans will live and be taught at the facility unit they get married or find jobs. They can be adopted — parents can sponsor the child’s upbringing and visit.
Mr. Saghir Aslam is a no-nonsense, energetic businessman who puts his whole heart and resources into any project he undertakes. It is wonderful to meet a man like Saghir Aslam, who is so giving to others.