One could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that a off road trip to set up a medical camp for the villagers of Pakistan would be a mixture of mosquitoes, no running water and intense heat. THINK AGAIN !!!.
As an Angraise, I found the whole experience to be both, humbling and exciting.
The whole journey started off from the Founders of the ‘Off Road Karachi Club’, sumptuous house in Karachi. A convoy of five robust but yet luxurious jeeps set off for fun and adventure. More vehicles became added to our convoy at later stages.
Photographs from offroadpakistan’s medical camp in the village of Khorwah, district Badin in Sindh. The group included doctors, veterinarians and volunteers from Karachi who were selfless in their efforts to give back to a community. Hand pumps were also distributed.
OffroadPakistan and friends have put together an effort to help people effected by the floods in Pakistan. We are providing relief ourselves (delivery and distribution) in Sindh area. Right now it’s food and essentials and temporary shelter. Next we would support run a refugee camp (our choosing of location) providing food, water, medicines/medical camps, clothing etc. Later help some really needful families to rebuilt their homes etc.
Since we are not an NGO, we have got the help of Behbood Association (local NGO) working far last 35 years – they have set up a separate account for us, they will manage, supervise and audit for us.
If any one wants to help contribution can be sent to this account (details here)
Please pass it on to friends!
To find out more check these out:
CNN on our relief efforts: [OffroadPakistan] club members, family and friends raised money for supplies to the neediest survivors.
(CNN)—“Everywhere we go we see eight to 10 feet of water,” said Kapadia, who traveled through inundated villages between Shikarpur and Sukkur. “All we see are the tops of houses.”
Just a month ago, Kapadia was a recreational rider in the 4×4 Offroaders Club of Karachi. He didn’t expect to use his off-roading skills to deliver life-saving supplies to flood victims across nearly impassible terrain and waters.
“We never thought of that,” Kapadia said. “But when you see things happen like this, you can’t just sit on the side and watch thousands of people die.”
So club members, family and friends raised money for supplies to the neediest survivors.
So far the 4×4 Offroaders Club of Karachi has distributed 100 tents and about eight truckloads of food.
Dave’s Landslide Blog—an excellent overview of how the flooding began: The regular seasonal monsoon rains started on July 27th, initially impacting the Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province (formerly NWFP). The following graph shows the sudden increase in rainfall in that region from July 29th.
“The loss of life appears to have been the result of a combination of losses in the main rivers and their tributaries, flash floods in upper catchments, collapses of mud brick houses, and landslides.”—Dave’s Landslide Blog.
Downstream the impact of the incredibly heavy rainfall on the Indus River catchment shows increased inflows.
The earthquake’s that have hit Pakistan in 2005 and 2008 were regarded as the worst tragedy for the nation. Few have realized that the recent floods have in fact caused more damage then those earthquakes did. As per latest reports official figures stand at 1600 dead and 20 million left homeless.
The Monsoon rains began three weeks ago and have washed away roads, bridges and communications lines, hampering rescue efforts by aid organizations and the government. The downpours have grounded many aircraft trying to rescue people and ferry aid.
I stood there amongst the trees, the wind moving through the leaves, making a whistling sound. The entire campsite was bathed in bright moonlight, so bright that you did not need a torch to cook something. Before me, the Hingol River flowed along lazily between the mountains, a silver serpent in a landscape that is otherwise harsh.
This reads like an excerpt from a fiction novel, does it not? Well one need only travel 240 kilometres from Karachi to make this fiction a reality. That is, if you have the gumption to make it out to Hingol National Park in Balochistan.
I recently had the chance to do so with the team of adventure travellers known as Offroad Pakistan. I refer to them as a team and not a group of individuals because that’s what they are, and that’s what one needs to make it through the terrain of Balochistan, which comprises bogs, jungle, mountains, and quicksand with a few wahgus (local slang for crocodiles) standing in as an audience. On this trip, the team included inventors, photojournalists, lawyers, doctors and a few lowly scribes such as myself, all with one thing in common: “the love of nature.”
There are camping lists, and then there are camping lists. This is one of those. There is the minimalistic school of thought which believes in grabbing just a shotgun and a wallet and heading off into the bush – but if like us, you get off the city to take a break and enjoy, than it’s nice to have all the essentials (and more!) along.
Keep this in mind – You must take everything you might possibly need from home – there is nothing (except oxygen) available on the way! Be prepared to change tires, dig your 4×4 out from a lot of mud, and other such goodies.
“The world’s greatest museum of shape and form” is how Italian mountaineer/author Fosco Maraini described Concordia in his book, Karakoram. Galen Rowell called it the “Throne of the Mountain Gods”. Come 2007, somehow or the other, 5 of us from Karachi ended up hiking to Concordia, and on to K2 base camp.
Left Jhola just before 7am, arrive Askole at 1:45pm. After so many days of walking had finally toughened up, and me and Khiz made it to Askole before our porters, despite our many breaks along the way.
Left 8:15 am, arrived 12:30 at Urdukas. Stopped at the army camp below Urdukas – it was raining, and they kindly invited us in for tea and pakoras. Took as 4 hours 15 minutes to Urdukas from Goro I, and we spent about an hour their waiting the rain out. It rained hard for a while, then petered out as we left.
Concordia has the best views of the entire trek – I got up in the morning and just looked around for a while – finally understanding why it’s called the “throne of the mountain gods”. It is spectacular beyond words, and pictures don’t do it justice. Don’t take my word for it, go there and see for yourself!
It’s a frozen wasteland out there – yesterdays snowfall has further frozen the already frozen landscape! Left Goro II at 8am, it’s a long walk to Concordia from here, so our porters grumbled quite a bit at our late departure.
It rained most of the night, and from the clouds it looks like it’ll rain much of today also. The really cloudy weather which all mountaineers fear (and hikers too, for it blocks the views!) had now arrived.