Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Food Drive in Pakistan

In America when you think of poverty, you think of low income families who live on minimum wages and some sort of help from other sources like government, food pantries , or soup kitchens. I think Americans who live under the poverty still live much better liver then people in third world countries. In other parts of the world the picture of the poor is totally different and the concept of food drives and helping the poor is also different. Pakistan's population is almost 1 hundred and 80 million, which makes it the number 6 most populated country in the world, while 28% of the population is living under the poverty line.

In Pakistan, people help the poor and each other on daily basis. Soup kitchens are getting very popular in these days but we call it Khairat which is basically a food drive. For the past 3 to 4 years, there are 3 million internal displaced people because of the war on extremism in Norther Pakistan. The government of Pakistan made the tent cities but that's all. These people do need a lot of other stuff to survive, so the ordinary people could give as much as they possibly could. Most of the time they help them through soup kitchens. I also want to mention that in Pakistan there are a large number of beggars (about 20 million) who go door to door asking for food, money, clothes or any kind of help and people do help them.

I want to mention one important aspect in Islam (since Pakistan is a 95% Muslim country) a very unique system of giving to poor is called Zakat, which means alms giving and is the third pillar of Islam in 5 pillars. Once a year every Muslim should give 2.5% of his or her total wealth. Zakat can be given in the form of money, food or any way of the person's need.One more way of giving is called sadqah which basically a part of zakat means charity and it's also obligated to those who can afford helping others.

There is so much to write about this topic because it is a very vast subject and writing about poverty is very emotional and heart touching. I have my three children and being a mom i feel  more passionate for those kids who are less fortunate than us well at least I am very happy and fortunate to be a small part of this food drive in Ell center at  9440 Kenton from May 10 to 15 and hoping to have a very successful food drive.

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