While describing help to suffering humanity as worship and the hallmark of the civilized societies, the AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has stressed the non-governmental organizations and the social welfare groups to create awareness among the people about the social protection system of Islam.
He expressed these views while talking to a five-member delegation of the US-based Helping Hand for Relief and Development at Aiwan-e-Sadr here on Tuesday. Led by Helping Hand's Country Director for Pakistan Salim Mansoori, the delegation include the Director Irfan Bashir, Manager Program Implementation Amjad Mehmood and AJK chief of the organization, Syed Salim Shah.
The State President said that service to mankind particularly those in distress should be, what our religion teaches us, without the consideration cast, colour and creed.
He maintained that natural calamities, mishaps and epidemics are the divine tests because the Almighty Allah wants to see who demonstrates patience and courage in the difficult hour, and who comes forward to help those who are suffering.
While appreciating the Helping Hand for Relief and Development for social welfare services in different parts of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir after the catastrophic earthquake of 2005, Sardar Masood Khan on behalf of the State government assured all kind of cooperation to the organization.
He also accepted the invitation of the Helping Hand to grace the talent award ceremony being organized by it in Rawalakot in the first week of December to honour the orphan and vulnerable children who had shown distinction in the recent matriculation examination.
On the occasion, the delegation told the state president that Helping Hand is working on different programs in Battian Bala, Bagh, Poonch and Haveli in various disciplines such as disaster management, orphan support program, skills development, education, and youth empowerment, and thousands of people have been the beneficiaries so far.
"The Helping Hand is executing on 12 programs in six different regions of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir with the annual budget of more than one billion rupees. Besides providing medical equipment in different district headquarters and tehsil headquarters hospitals in Aad Kashmir, the organization has distributed 1,500 first aid kits, and providing education and health facilities.
Besides providing financial assistance to orphan children and taking care of their health, the organization also provide assistance for projects of water supply, emergency relief and Ramadan and other programs in far-flung areas of the liberated territory.
The Helping Hands, they said, also helping needy children through education scholarships and provides interest-free loans to deserving families through its microfinance program to help start their own small businesses.