Dear Readers of 3 Quarks Daily,
Over the last six days I have received various emails and phone calls asking about the welfare of my family and friends in Pakistan. I want to thank you for the concern you have expressed, and tell you that while my family escaped all direct effects of the earthquake, various friends and their families have not been so lucky. The centuries-old house of my friend Yousaf in Wah has collapsed. Other friends from Kashmir are in bad shape. It is an odd coincidence that for our honeymoon last year, my wife and I chose to go sightseeing in two places: the incomparably beautiful beaches of the south of Sri Lanka, and the majestic mountain regions of the north of Pakistan. None of the hotels we stayed at in either place exist any longer. Between the tsunami and the earthquake, all we have left are the pleasant memories and some pictures we took while in these serene, lovely places.
Several people have asked how they can help the victims of the earthquake. After looking into this a bit, I have come to the conclusion that the best way is by donating money to the Human Development Foundation. This is a U.S. based secular group which was started by Pakistani-American doctors more than a decade ago (one of my sisters has been actively involved). They have set up schools and clinics all over Pakistan, and their efforts have been recognized by President Musharraf to the extent that the government of Pakistan asked them for advice and is now following their model of human development to fight poverty and illiteracy in all of Pakistan. The important point is, they already have an infrastructure on the ground in many of the areas affected by the earthquake, and therefore, they assure me that ALL the money which is collected in their earthquake fund will go directly to the victims, and NONE of it will be used for administrative purposes. I know some of the individuals at the HDF, and can personally vouch for their integrity. If you would like to donate to them, please click here.
Tens of thousands are dead. More are injured. Millions are homeless. The Himalayan winter is well on its way. Help if you can. If you like, leave your email in a comment on this post, and I will be sure to write to you personally to thank you.
Here are some pictures of the affected areas from the NY Times: