Bedford, 15th October 2006
Kashmir Relief and Development Foundation (KRDF) UK has continued organising the 1st Anniversary of the devastating earthquake, which wiped off the basic infrastructure of almost 3 districts of AJK and killed over 80000 people. The programme was held in Bedford on 15th Oct. 2006 and was well attended by people from different backgrounds.
The people who addressed the program were Malik Latif, the president of KRDF, Zafar Sharif, the Chief Coordinator of KRDF, Chaudry Yousuf, Finance Secretary of KRDF, Zafar Khan Chair of Luton Council of Faiths and representatives of KRDF in Bedford.
Rich tributes were paid to the people who lost their lives and to those who helped the survivors in the earthquake and showed solidarity with the survivors. Elaborating his speech, Mr. Latif said that efforts are being made by KRDF to provide long term relief to the affected people in many ways like education and health sector.
Zafar Sharif gave a detailed presentation on the destruction caused by the earthquake, how people have managed since then, what role have NGOs especially KRDF played and what still needs to be done.
After elaborating the efforts made by KRDF since the day earthquake struck, he said that KRDF is now registered as a charity in England And its basic aim is to rebuild the shattered lives and to provide the means to help themselves.
He said that a lot of people are still without proper shelter. They are still living in the worn out tents after one year. Schools and colleges are still not there. The promised shelter and funds are not reaching to the survivors. Only 17% of 450000 households have started rebuilding their houses. Rest are still without the means. Most of the NGOs worked for about three months and then left. There are very few NGOs now working in that part of the world.
Mr. Zafar Sharif said that after identifying the long term needs of the people, KRDF has decided that we should only work on health and education. It was very important to get children back to school as soon as possible as education plays a vital role in protection and providing children with a safe environment and giving parents time to rebuild their lives. He stressed upon the people that it is utmost important that these people are not forgotten in this hour of need. We have to keep going back till the reconstruction is complete.
He gave a detailed report about the School, which has started working in Namnotta near Rawalakot. This was the first reconstruction education project of KRDF. He thanked the Luton Council of Faiths for sponsoring this project and said that this will build bridge of friendship and confidence between different religions and communities.
He said that KRDF also has set up 5 vocational training centres equipped with 20 sewing machines, tables, power generators and chairs in each centre. This project is sponsored by Kashmir Education Trust Sheffield. We are very thankful to KET.
Mr. Latif Khan thanked to all the NGOs who have worked with KRDF, guests and all the local people who came to attend this program and also donated to KRDF.
Zafar Khan thanked KRDF for working with LC of faiths and doing their project. Other local councillors and community leaders also attended the programme.
On behalf of
Secretary Information, KRDF