A peace march in Lahore FRIENDS OF SOUTH ASIA (FOSA)
working towards a peaceful, prosperous, and hate-free South Asia
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Please Support Relief and Rehabilitation Efforts

Friends of South Asia deeply mourns the tragic loss of life and destruction that resulted from the October 8th earthquake in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. About 80,000 to 100,000 people may have died, and over 3 million made homeless in Pakistan-Administered Kashmir (PAK) and NWFP.  Another estimated 2,000 people have died in Indian Administered Kashmir (IAK), 50,000 made homeless and large sections of the Uri and Tangdhar leveled to the ground.

The survivors need immediate medical, psychological and other assistance.  Some victims are still untreated three weeks after the quake, and many in remote areas are in need of immediate evacuation and treatment. In addition to the loss of life, there is the desperate need to provide shelter and a massive second wave of death is expected if efforts aren't stepped up to help the three million made homeless by the earthquake, who face the fierce Himalayan winter without any form of shelter. Entire villages and towns need to be rebuilt, the landslides and the debris need to be cleared, and schools, hospitals in the area need to be reopened and made functional again.

Every bit counts.  While it is really heartening to see so many organizations and individuals step forward to provide help to the victims, much more still needs to be done. As the focus has shifted from the short-term objective of trying to find survivors, to the medium-term provision of relief to the injured and homeless and the longer-term objective of rebuilding these communities, FOSA urges everyone to contribute to these efforts and to not allow donor burn-out to impede the much needed support.  While recognizing the incredible array of non-governmental groups conducting relief and rehabilitation work, we at FOSA specifically recommend a few grassroots groups in India and Pakistan that are doing excellent work.  Please support them with your funds!  More information about these groups and how you can support their efforts is available here.

It is incredibly humbling to watch the overwhelming concern and generosity of everyone contributing towards relief and rehabilitation. However, we at FOSA must caution that this, by itself, is not enough!  It is not enough just to donate generously—it is equally incumbent upon us to donate responsibly. We urge you to look at the track records of the various organizations, and support groups that are connected to the community and have a history of doing good work. Please ensure that your donations are not used to further narrow, sectarian agendas (such as those with Hindu fundamentalist or Islamic fundamentalist agendas). We must ensure that concerns of social justice are integrated into the planning and execution of relief and rehabilitation efforts.  We must seek truly participatory decision-making and complete transparency in all reconstruction efforts, and must work for the rebuilding of a civil society that is grounded in values of justice and equality.

A Benefit for the Survivors of the South Asian Earthquake

Saturday November 19, 7pm
Wheeler Auditorium
University of California Berkeley

100% of the proceeds go towards grassroots earthquake relief efforts in Pakistan and India.
Support relief efforts! Buy tickets here!

If you are unable to attend the event but still wish to contribute to earthquake relief efforts, click here to read about beneficiary organizations and to donate.

For more information visit http://ektaonline.org/beyondborders
email: beyondborders<AT>ektaonline<DOT>org

Featuring an array of performances including dance, South Asian classical - vocal and instrumental, spoken word, and much more. Featured artists include:

Farah Shaikh
Chhandam-Chitresh Das Dance Company
- Kathak Dance

Ustad Arshad Syed
- Santoor
with Shabi Farooq - Tabla
Kamal Hyder & Nasir Syed
- Sitar Duet
with Ferhan Qureshi - Tabla

Rita Sahai
- Hindustani Vocal
with Vivek Anand &
Ferhan Qureshi - Tabla

Shailja Patel
- Spoken Word

© 2005 - Friends of South Asia (FOSA). Site hosted by ektaonline.org