A 8:49 a.m. sirens sounded across Pakistan and people held a minute of silence. Can the scream of earth ripping itself apart be countered by silence? I don't know. The loss of life and destruction of habitats is still unfathomable to me. The overwhelming sense of helplessless is still here with me. And, it appears, on the ground as well:
On Thursday, Pakistan asked for $800 million more in foreign aid because of 200,000 additional homes to be built than previous estimates, in addition to $6.8 billion pledges at an international donors' conference last year.
The winter looms. As usual, the crisis of leadership and execution plagues the relief effort. We have largely forgotten and moved on to the next crisis. But. Let us not forget the overwhelming work done across the online communities for relief. At CM, from personal donations and sales of Tshirts, I was able to send $2500 to the relief effort - as well as participate in other online efforts. A year later, once again, my heartfelt thanks to all who gave money, and their time.
Here is a list of posts on CM:
Oct 8: Earthquake
Oct 9: Devastation
Oct 10: Help
Oct 11: Help II
Oct 13: My Own Personal Drive
Oct 13: Shaken
Oct 15: Buy Tshirts
Oct 20: A World Stays Still
Oct 23: Quake Relief Day
Oct 26: Blog Quake Day
In retrospect, the biggest problems remain. Lack of mobility of resources - there is still no way to make online donations to Pakistani Red Crescent or to Edhi Foundation; Lack of transparency - who do you give money to?
Images: CNN gallery.
update: Do see Unaiza's post which highlights - for me - the incredible, ongoing, individual efforts. Do consider supporting her.
Salute to all who made a difference. I would like to convey that the work is not over. Please do not stop your contributions and please do send it to someone you personally know. NO NGOs.