Neighbours not Enemies: A Story of Edhi Foundation and Pakistani Twitterati Extending a Helping Hand to India in these Moments of Crisis.

    Photo credit: Twitter

    The medical infrastructure of India is in shambles for a few weeks due to the Second Wave of Covid-19 which hit India later than most European countries. Lack of beds in hospitals across the country is a major issue but to make the matter even worse, an extreme shortage of oxygen started taking place. It was in the midst of this calamitous situation which India was facing, Pakistan’s Edhi Foundation extended a helping hand by formally sending a letter to our PM Narendra Modi on Friday, 23rd of April 2021.

    Edhi Foundation is a globally recognized Pakistani non-profit organization which was founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi in 1951 with its headquarter in the city of Karachi. After Abdul Sattar Edhi’s death in 2016, his son Faisal Edhi held the command and it was him who sent a letter to our PM on Friday offering assistance in these difficult times.

    Edhi Foundation renowned for its humanitarian relief work offered to send a fleet of 50 ambulances to India to help in getting rid of in any way possible the horrors India is facing due to the Covid-19 crisis this year.

    An excerpt of the letter which was sent by the Edhi Foundation to the Indian mission in Islamabad reads as follows:

    “We are very sorry to hear about the exceptionally heavy impact that the pandemic has had on your country, where a tremendous number of people are suffering immensely. As a neighbouring friend, we sympathise with you greatly…”

    Faisal Edhi while talking over the phone to a prominent news platform, Hindustan Times, said that the foundation is offering their services because the people are suffering and they have experienced similar sufferings in their country too therefore they are physically and mentally prepared to operate in any city the government allows them to by fully cooperating with the Indian authorities.

    Hashtags such as #IndiaNeedsOxygen and #IndianLivesMatter started trending on Pakistani Twitter as our neighbour extended their empathy in these moments of grief and crisis.

    It was but humane for a neighbouring country to extend sympathies or to try and help in any way possible when India kept recording the highest number of coronavirus cases in a single day anywhere in the world with more than 2000 people dying for several consecutive days.

    Prominent hospitals and medical centers across the country have given up due to the lack of medical oxygen and vacant beds. 25 patients died due to the shortage of medical oxygen in Delhi’s Jaipur Golden Hospital on Friday night and this is but a single instance of several recorded deaths en masse which is happening across the country. Visuals of hundreds of burning pyre in Delhi and more dead bodies coming in have taken the internet by a storm. India is going through a historic medical crisis with some saying that the system has collapsed while others exclaiming that it has not collapsed but merely been exposed.

    The contrasting nature of the stance of the authority of the citizens of both countries is totally evident. While the Indian media kept running xenophobic media trials against Pakistan, Pakistan’s eminent organization extended a helping hand and offered to help the country in any way the authorities would allow them in these tough times. While the majority of Indian citizens kept running racist Twitter trends against the people of Pakistan, they replied back by raising humanitarian trends on Twitter.

    As we all say, ‘it’s not much, but it’s honest work’. 50 ambulances or a few cylinders of medical oxygen or a Twitter trend will not by any means significantly improve the condition of a country with a 1.3 Billion+ population. But it is the empathy fellow humans from a neighbouring land felt towards their neighbour which really did matter and sometimes that is all that is required in times of crisis, a few kind words and a supportive hand on the shoulder to indicate presence.  

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