Fighting COVID-19 The Unsung Heroes Of A Third World

It was a summer break of 2014 for a few students in Islamabad the capital city of Pakistan. A country with a population of over 200 million, dealing with its own ups and downs since the past many decades. What was merely a fun trip for most of those students, one 20-year old girl was thinking on a completely different horizon. 

Having witnessed the heartbreaking side of a poor country since early childhood, this girl always had a dream of contributing to the betterment of society. She always wanted to help the ones who could not provide basic necessities of life to their loved ones. At an age when kids usually think of a new toy they will purchase on their next birthday this girl wanted to feed the poor and make a difference. And a few years later, she did. 

In 2014, Narjis came up with the idea of a non-profit organization ‘Alms360’. Based solely on the idea of working 100% voluntarily, this organization’s basic purpose was to serve the needy and eradicate poverty from society. She was able to set up the organization with a few people she knew from her circle. 

However, soon after this organization was formed, the initial members and volunteers left Narjis’ mission due to their own personal and educational commitments. At that time, she had to take the lead, continue working all by herself and make sure the organization’s purpose did not fade away. 

That is exactly what followed In 2015, Alms360 was registered as a non-profit organization. It kept its mission alive by reaching out to those living under the line of poverty and distributing basic life necessities to the poor segment of our society.

Before the COVID-19 global pandemic outbreak, Alms 360 was covering eight areas of Pakistan Bahawalpur, Sargodha, Multan, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Rangpur, Sawaat, Islamabad, and Kot Dadu Galu (Ahmedpur). By Feb 2020, the organization had already managed and administered 315 social and humanitarian activities, submitted a 4m + audit to the FBR. 

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Pakistan, charity organizations had to face even greater challenges major obstacle being the government ban on transportation. Despite that, the valor and enthusiasm Narjis portrayed had a trickle-down effect throughout the whole organization. She defied all odds and kept on working from whatever resources she had at her disposal. Even with her own marriage in a few months and all the family expectations and limitations she had to deal with, she kept marching right ahead. There was no reason that could make her stop anymore. 

With just a cell phone and a positive frame of mind, Narjis kept on working to pursue her organization’s mission. During one of these nights after the outbreak, she raised PKR 1.5m within 24 hours and distributed food to 100 families. Remember we used to hear our parents motivating us during our early childhood days by saying ‘When there’s a will, there’s a way.” Well, Narjis, through her outstanding achievements all these years, proved that statement. 

Up till now, Alms360 has raised thousands of funds in order to distribute food to over 200 households. With volunteers working remotely from the aforementioned areas and recent collaborations with Pak Army troops, the organization is continuously distributing ration packages to those worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

You always have a choice on how to use your time in this world you can spend it whichever way you feel like. During the current lockdown, you can either spend it watching TV shows on Netflix and cursing the government’s actions, or you can go out and start reaching out to those who are in dire need of your help.