Awareness Campaign on Safe Charity Started by Youth in Karachi

‘It is inspiring that the youth of Karachi and students of local universities have started an awareness campaign of safe charity. These peace champions from IBA, Karachi University, NED, and IOBM are using banners, fliers, panaflexes, rickshaw flexes, car posters and stickers and key chains to urge especially the businessmen of the markets in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Bahaddurabad, Tariq Road, DHA, North Nazimabad, and the Saddar areas.’ This was briefed by Sabiha Shaheen, Executive Director, Bargad during the second policy dialogue on charity for goodness organized by Bargad, an organization for youth development, in a local hotel on Tuesday.

The panelists of the policy dialogue lauded efforts of the youth campaign that is making visible the message of safe charity on streets and roads and through shop-to-shop visists in markets of two districts of Karachi. The campaign is part of a project, entitled “Charity for Goodness” for engaging youth in a noble cause so that charity reaches to the most deserving.

The panelists of the policy dialogue included eminent entrepreneurs, philanthropists, academicians, media persons and analysts Atteeq-ur-Rehman, Mubashir Zaidi, Zarrar Khuhro, Mujahid Brelvi, Fauzia Shaheen, Akram Khan, Aga Masood, Salah-ud-din Haider, Dr Khalida Ghous and Pervaiz Ahmed. The proceedings of the policy dialogue were moderated by Dr. Huma Baqai.

Pervaiz Ahmed showed his satisfaction that major chunk of charity in Pakistan is collected from Karachi. He proposed that charity should also be channeled through the banking system for the sake of documentation. Journalist Zarar Khuhro said that the since the issue of safe charity is critical, the government should regulate charity and form a regulatory authority comprising of civil society members to oversee the charity organizations.

The panelists further advised that good governance and transparency in charity organizations has to be ensured. Academician Dr Khalida Ghous advocated for the government to publish and make available report of Bait ul Mal to the public. Audit of seminaries was another point proposed during the event. It was raised that scrutiny of foreign funding will help the government ensure that money given for charitable purposes don’t become pellets used by the terrorists.

Entrepreneur Atteeq-ur-Rehman advised the business community and public at large to be careful in their noble deeds of donating charity and resist making charity available to distant organizations whose whereabouts they don’t know. Charity begins at home and it is advisable to choose deserving people and organizations in immediate and nearby places, who are known or related to you. At this occasion, it was also said that electronic media should repeatedly take the names of proscribed organizations so that people are well-aware of such outfits which can use charity for their harmful aims.

The panelists of the policy dialogue resolved that they would cooperate to make the youth-led awareness campaign successful in their respective fields.

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