Pakistan's Youth Vs. The Coronavirus

Pakistan's Youth Vs. The Coronavirus
As we move into these extraordinary times, and the country falls into turmoil, many are asking themselves if this is the end for Pakistan. A few have answered in the affirmative and have given up. However, a certain breed of energized youth of Pakistan has refused to throw in the towel and they are leading Coronavirus donations campaigns all over the country for the most vulnerable affectees of the pandemic.

To put things into perspective, as of 12 April 2020, Pakistan has had 5,000+ cases and 86 deaths. Considering that Pakistan is an economically weak country with only a fixed amount of medicinal equipment for testing and treatment such as ventilators, there is a significant chance Pakistan has far more cases than currently reported. The most technologically and economically advanced countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the United States of America have reported 163,027 cases with 16,606 deaths,129,694 cases with 12,832 deaths, 152,271 cases with 19,468 deaths, 125,452 cases with 2871 deaths and 533,135 cases and 20,580 deaths respectively.

Pakistan, being a weaker country in comparison, will likely suffer more devastating damage if immediate and effective action is not taken.

To my satisfaction, several youth-led organizations and non-profits have arisen at an opportune time to help their beloved country. Two such non-profits, Qadam, an organization founded for the fulfillment of the United Nations Sustainability goals, founded by current Lahore University of Management Students, have collaborated with the experts at the non-profit Comprehensive Disaster Response Services (CDRS) and launched the “Pakistan Coronavirus Relief Mission”, where they aim to serve at least 10,000 if not 100,000 families in over 40 districts in Pakistan. To date, this mission completed ration drives and delivered Coronavirus awareness sessions in severely affected areas in Rawalpindi, Naseerabad, Karachi, Mardan, Faisalabad, Sujawal, Muzaffarabad, Chitral, Dera Ismail Khan, Lahore, Nawabshah, Thatha and Jaffarabad.

However, this is merely the beginning as this mission aims to serve as many families possible. With every second passing by, a life is lost. This relief mission aims to give new life to the marginalized communities in Pakistan. These communities include our daily wage labourer class and the minority communities who have lost their jobs due to the lockdown. To put forth a brief introduction, the Comprehensive Disaster Response Services(CDRS) is a registered non-profit in Pakistan since 2005. From the 2005 earthquake to 2020, CDRS has served Pakistan by proving humanitarian relief in all kinds of natural disasters. CDRS was founded by Timothy Todd Shea, who is an American citizen but holds Pakistan dear in his heart. He has worked to provide humanitarian relief in all parts of the world, but he holds Pakistan particularly dear.

Just as experienced as CDRS is, Qadam has proved to be an effective partner for it – having so far raised 1.5 million rupees (PKR) for this mission. As a 24-year-old student founder of Qadam, it is indeed a privilege for me to work on this mission and possibly serve as inspiration the youth of Pakistan: that they too can play their part in serving Pakistan and that no effort is too small.

The Coronavirus pandemic will cause mass casualties – that part is inevitable. However, what truly matters in situations like these is our response. In such times, the youth of Pakistan has a major role to play.

Let us rise up and save Pakistan!


The author is the founder of Qadam and a final year law student at Lahore University of Management Sciences

Altamush Saeed is a law graduate from Lahore University of Management Sciences. He is a human/animal rights activist and works for social welfare causes. He writes primarily about social issues with a legal analytical perspective.