Pakistan: Goodness in Our People

Found this in
DAWN Newspaper, Letter to the Editor

Incident that changed my approach to life
Sunday, 03 Jan, 2010

IF we look around us, we will find a lot of goodness in our people. I saw this on Dec 28 when my confidence in our fellow beings and in the kindness of Almighty Allah was reinforced.

That morning my wife was returning to Karachi from Faisalabad by Millat train accompanied by our two daughters, aged three and five years. I went to the station to receive my family but couldn’t find them.

After a while I was shocked to see my elder girl standing by herself in a train compartment without her mother. There were some fellow passengers and a responsible policeman, Abdul Razzak, waiting with her.

They broke the horrible news to me that my younger daughter accidentally fell off the train near Dhabeji station. My wife along with 20 to 25 fellow passengers managed to have the train stopped a kilometre or two from the spot where the child had fallen.

They disembarked there to search for the missing child. In her panic, my wife forgot to carry her cellphone with her and so couldn’t contact me.

The local people also joined the search party. My wife later recounted that the people — all strangers — were extremely sympathetic, helpful and concerned while searching for the child who had wandered off four kilometres into the woodland.

It was after four hours that a young Pakhtun boy (could not obtain his details — May Allah reward him for his goodness) spotted Zainab and fetched her unhurt. When I met my little girl after these hours of high drama, she simply uttered these words: “Papa I was alone.”

I just have no words to thank these men and women — strangers to me before this event brought us together — who shared those tense moments with us.

By actively assisting in the search for our child, these noble souls displayed that spirit of humanity that holds mankind together. May Allah bless them and also my family — my father, brothers and my wife — who stood behind me giving me immense moral support in those testing hours.

People have the capacity to organise themselves on the spur of the moment when faced with an emergency and respond positively. Take the case of Mr Jamil who disembarked with my wife, leaving his own family behind on the train, to take the responsibility of organising the search.

There was Mr Asif who took the responsibility of communicating with the railway authorities, the Edhi Centre and the police.

Generally, we tend to take for granted our family and our fellow beings. But we should learn to appreciate the goodness of the human heart that prompts people to respond to others in distress. Such is the spirit that can, if mobilised, help steer the country out of its troubles.

The more I see of it, the more I feel vindicated in my decision to stay back in Pakistan and serve it as a part of the SIUT team that is doing such good work by holding up a candle of hope for people who are so desperately ill.

Sindh Institute of Urology & Transplantation


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