International Charity Day

International Charity Day reminds us of our shared humanity and the power of selfless acts in a world that often focuses on its fast-paced ad­vancements and individual pur­suits. This annual observance, celebrated on September 5th, resonates deeply within Paki­stan, a country renowned for its inherent spirit of generos­ity and compassion.

As we commemorate Interna­tional Charity Day, Pakistan em­braces an opportunity to showcase its commitment to giving back to society, ir­respective of cultural and ethnic bound­aries. The essence of charity finds a nat­ural home in the hearts of Pakistani nationals or overseas, where communal harmony and empathy have historical­ly transcended any disparities. This day serves as a reminder of the critical role that charitable efforts play in uplifting the less fortunate and creating a more equitable society. In Pakistan, where poverty remains a pressing issue, the observance of International Charity Day takes on even greater significance.

Pakistan, a country of rich cultural her­itage and potential, is home to a diverse population. However, it also faces the challenge of poverty, with a significant portion of its citizens struggling to meet basic needs. According to recent statis­tics, approximately 24.3% of Pakistan’s population lives below the poverty line, translating into 55 million people. As of 2022, Pakistan’s Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.544 and ranks 161 out of 192 countries. This alarming figure highlights the urgent need for charitable initiatives that can help alleviate the suf­fering of those in need.

Charity in Pakistan extends beyond fi­nancial donations; it reflects a collective mindset that values empathy and seeks to uplift the marginalised. Individuals, communities, and organisations unite nationwide to share their resources, time, and skills with those in need.

From urban centres to remote villag­es, countless initiatives reflect Pakistan’s unwavering spirit of charity. Free meals are provided to the less fortunate, a tes­tament to the country’s commitment to eliminating hunger. Similarly, educational institutions and health clinics supported by charitable contributions help bridge gaps in access to essential services.

The significance of charity in Pakistan is deeply rooted in its cultural and reli­gious fabric. Islamic teachings empha­sise the importance of helping the less fortunate, with the practice of Zakat be­ing a prime example. Zakat, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, underscores the re­sponsibility of those who can financial­ly support those in need. This princi­ple, embraced by many Pakistanis, has played a crucial role in creating a safety net for the vulnerable segments of soci­ety, regulating money supply and econo­my of the country.

Thankfully, Pakistan boasts a multi­tude of charitable organisations that tirelessly work towards improving the lives of the marginalised and vul­nerable. These organisations address various issues, including poverty, ed­ucation, healthcare, and disaster re­lief. Some prominent charitable organ­isations in Pakistan include the Edhi Foundation, Saylani Welfare Interna­tional Trust, Shaukat Khanum Memori­al Cancer Hospital & Research Centre, and the Indus Hospital.

The service of organisations like the Edhi Foundation, CHIPA (Community Health and Medical Care) and JDC (Jafar­ia Disaster Cell) in Pakistan is remark­able. Edhi Foundation, founded by the legendary Abdul Sattar Edhi, is a beacon of selflessness, providing a wide range of social services, including healthcare, ed­ucation, orphan care, and burial services for the unclaimed deceased. CHIPA ded­icates itself to delivering prompt medi­cal assistance to those in need, regardless of their financial status. Their ambulanc­es and medical facilities are a lifeline dur­ing emergencies. They have established a remarkable nationwide network of emer­gency medical assistance, ensuring that individuals in need receive swift and ef­ficient aid during critical times. In natu­ral disasters or emergencies, these or­ganisations provide immediate relief and support to affected individuals and fami­lies. These services have become a lifeline for countless Pakistanis, providing time­ly medical attention, transportation to healthcare facilities, and compassionate care during moments of crisis. The self­less efforts of these organisations’ teams demonstrate their commitment to hu­manity and serve as a shining example of how collective efforts can profoundly im­pact society’s well-being.Top of Form

Education remains a critical factor in breaking the cycle of poverty. Charita­ble organisations like The Citizens Foun­dation (TCF) are dedicated to provid­ing quality education to underprivileged children across Pakistan. Through their efforts, countless children are allowed to acquire knowledge and skills that can transform their lives.

Access to quality healthcare is anoth­er area where charitable organisations are making a significant impact. Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Re­search Centre, founded by the iconic Im­ran Khan, has become a beacon of hope for cancer patients. Similarly, the Indus and SIUT Hospital is committed to providing accessible and quality healthcare to those who cannot afford medical treatment.

Pakistan’s susceptibility to natural di­sasters has prompted the establishment of various charitable organisations fo­cused on disaster relief and rehabilita­tion. These organisations, such as the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, provide immediate assistance during crises and work towards rebuilding communities after disasters.

Charitable organisations like the Akhuwat Foundation and various NGOs actively work towards empowering women through microfinance initia­tives. These efforts help women be­come financially independent and con­tribute to their families’ well-being.

Pakistan observes International Char­ity Day as a time for all citizens to unite in compassion and empathy. The spirit of giving should extend beyond individ­ual efforts to collective actions. Wheth­er donating to charitable organisations, volunteering time and skills, or simply spreading awareness, everyone can play a part in creating positive change.

Charitable organisations in Pakistan have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to uplift the underprivi­leged. Their tireless efforts are reflect­ed in the lives they touch, the smiles they bring, and the hope they restore. As we celebrate International Charity Day, honour these organisations’ dedication and reaffirm our commitment to mak­ing Pakistan a more just and equitable society. However, amidst the commend­able efforts, there is always room for growth. Transparency and accountabili­ty in charitable activities must be upheld to ensure that the intended beneficiaries genuinely reap the benefits. Civil society, government bodies, and non-profit or­ganisations must collaborate to channel resources effectively and eradicate mis­management that can undermine the noblest of intentions.

International Charity Day, coincid­ing with the death anniversary of Moth­er Teresa, an epitome of selfless service, serves as a reminder of the transforma­tive impact one individual can make. Her legacy transcends borders, inspiring Pak­istanis to rally behind causes that pro­mote kindness, love, and compassion.

While the spirit of charity is vibrant in Pakistan, nurturing it in the young­er generation is essential. Incorporating education about the significance of giv­ing and empathy into curricula ensures that future leaders are equipped with the values that drive positive change.

Let us celebrate the remarkable spirit of giving that defines Pakistan, where the battle against poverty is ongoing; charita­ble organisations, volunteers and donors play an indispensable role in transform­ing lives and building a brighter future for all. Let us recognise the countless unsung heroes who work tirelessly to improve lives and uplift the nation. By fostering a culture of compassion, we contribute to a brighter future, one where the most vulnerable among us are embraced and empowered. As citizens, let us stand to­gether and support these initiatives, con­tributing to a Pakistan that values com­passion, empathy, and progress.

As Pakistan moves forward, may its commitment to charity continue to shine as a beacon of hope for those living hand and mouth or below the poverty line, embodying the belief that we can cre­ate a truly inclusive and just world for all by adding a positive impact in the life of others selflessly, with no expecta­tion of reward and return from them ex­cept Allah. As Princess Diana said, and I quote, “Carry out a random act of kind­ness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you”.

The writer is a student at Bahria University Karachi and can be reached at

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