Aug 16

ACTIVITY FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 2017 (Second Case)

ACTIVITY FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 2017

SECOND CASE

 

Dear Donors,

For the month of May 2017, we had a registered case approved.

It was 03rd May 2017 when Pindi was engulfed with dirt storm and strong gusty winds when I along with my field staff made our way on Motorcycle to Shop No. 200/21 Near Masjid Mai Sharifan Millad Nagar Dhoke Ratta Rawalpindi at about 4.30 pm.

It was quite irksome and tiring journey which Raheel Rustam negotiated the narrow bends and turns and finally we reached at about 5.00 pm at the furniture shop.

Here we had to haggle a lot for payment of furniture for the dowry of one orphan girl whose marriage was due on 05th of May 2017.

Uzma Saleem D/o Zahida Parveen R/o House No. 744, Ratta Amral Rawalpindi NIC No. 37405 – 6932541 – 6.

She was in need of the dowry furniture, which we have funded from our Raza Charity Trust account, but we still have more registered cases in the pipeline.

Arrangements have been made for the following furniture items for Neelum Manzoor dowry which was today handed over to her mother.

  • 01 Double bed
  • 01 dressing table
  • 01 ALMARI for Crockery

The budget for this furniture which has been arranged from funds lying with us while contributions from my friends and donors are eagerly awaited so that we are able to arrange the dowry furniture for other recipients who are waiting for their turn.

Please send in your donation / contributions in the form of cheque or direct online transfer to the following account.

 

Details of Account are as under:

 

Title Of Account                    Zeeshan Raza Alim

Account Number                   0471000003333 

CIF ID                                       000141750

 Bank                                       Askari Bank Limited

                                                Haider Road Branch Saddar, Rawalpindi

 

The pictures of the family along with her mother and furniture in the background are attached herewith.

This has all been possible because you have been sending your donations and contributions regularly over the year.

I pray for all of you and for the Muslim UMMAH in particular.

 

GOD BLESS U,

Best Regards

 

 

Dr. Babur Zahiruddin

123/B, Market Road, Saddar, Rawalpindi

Ph: 051-5130399

www.drbabur.com

www.mastertrainerhr.com

 

Aug 16

ACTIVITY FOR THE MONTH OF May 2017

        ACTIVITY FOR THE MONTH OF May 2017

Dear Friends,

For the month of May 2017, we had a registered case approved.

The details are as under:

Faiza Batool D/o SaGhulam Murtaza R/o House No. ZB-134/C, St No. 8, Mohallad Alamabad, Dhoke Hassu, Rawalpindi NIC No. 37405 – 4547831 – 1, who was married on 20th May  2017.

She was in need of the dowry furniture, which we have funded from our Raza Charity Trust account, but we still have more registered cases in the pipeline.

Arrangements have been made for the following furniture items for Zainab Idress dowry which was handed over to her mother.

  • 01 Double bed
  • 01 dressing table
  • 01 ALMARI for Crockery

 

The budget for this furniture which has been arranged from funds lying with us while contributions from my friends and donors are eagerly awaited so that we are able to arrange the dowry furniture for other recipients who are waiting for their turn.

 

Please send in your donation / contributions in the form of cheque or direct online transfer to the following account.

Details of Account are as under:

 

Title Of Account                    Zeeshan Raza Alim

Account Number                   0471000003333 

CIF ID                                       000141750

 Bank                                       Askari Bank Limited

                                                Haider Road Branch Saddar, Rawalpindi

 

The pictures of the family along with her mother and furniture in the background are attached herewith.

I pray for all of you and for the Muslim UMMAH in particular.

Thank you my friends for making this noble effort possible.

GOD BLESS U.

 

Best Regards

 

 

Dr. Babur Zahiruddin


123/B, Market Road, Saddar, Rawalpindi

Ph: 051-5130399

Cell: 0332-4923235

www.drbabur.com

www.mastertrainerhr.com

 

Jul 08

CATHARSIS

CATHARSIS

The modern era today, despite the vast technological and scientific advancements which has made life easier for the man today but has also complicated his life with multiple multifaceted and multidimensional impediments associated with stress, strain, worries, apprehensions, disdains and regrential fear.

More and more people these days use the word Catharsis without properly understanding its meaning definition, explanation and the implication of this word.

The word catharsis is derived from the Greek word katharsis meaning "purification" or "cleansing".  In Urdu the meaning is: تنقیہ نفس - tanfiea nafas.

The spiritual meaning of catharsis is very much the same: discharging everything harmful from one's mind and heart, so that one can become pure.

In the modern times most of the definitions relate two essential components of catharsis: the emotional aspect and Cognitive Effect.

Cognition is "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses."

The emotional effect denotes strong emotional expression and processing and the cognitive aspect signifies insight, new realization, and the unconscious becoming consciousness thus resulting in a positive change.

Historically catharsis was first used by Aristotle in the Poetics, (Drama) comparing the effects of tragedy on the mind of spectator to the effect of a cathartic on the body.

Catharsis is often discussed along with Aristotle's concept of anagnorisis.

ANAGNORISIS is a moment in a play or other work when a character makes a critical discovery.

In the modern times this term was first used in  psychology, by Sigmund Freud's colleague Josef Breuer who developed a "cathartic" treatment using hypnosis for persons suffering from extensive hysteria while under hypnosis. Breuer's patients were able to recall traumatic past experiences, and through the process of expressing the original emotions that had been repressed and forgotten, they were relieved of their hysteric symptoms.

The term catharsis has also been adopted by modern psychotherapy, particularly Freudian psychoanalysis, to describe the act of expressing, or more accurately, experiencing the deep emotions often associated with events in the individual's past which had originally been suppressed, repressed or ignored, and had never been adequately addressed or experienced.

Emotional situations can elicit psychological behavior, cognitive, expressive, and subjective changes in individuals. Affected individuals often use social sharing as a cathartic release of emotions.

Collective emotional events share similar responses. When communities are affected by an emotional event, members repetitively share emotional experiences.

According to researchers, every sharing round elicits emotional reactivation in the sender and the receiver. This then reactivates the need to share experiences in both the sender and recipient. Social sharing throughout the community leads to high amounts of emotional recollection and “emotional overheating.”

 

This cathartic release of emotions is often believed to be therapeutic for affected individuals. Many therapeutic mechanisms have been seen to aid in emotional recovery. One example is “interpersonal emotion regulation,” in which listeners help to modify the affected individual’s affective state by using certain strategies.

The idea of catharsis in medicine is similar to that in literature. It means 'purging', 'purification', although in a medical sense this implies a physical release, for example, expectoration of the sputa implies healing of cold. Hippocrates associated catharsis with healing, because it's role as a "purification agent" affecting the course of disease (both physical and mental).

The ritual of purification usually implies that a person had engaged in some prohibited actions or sins. Catharsis helps the effective person to return to the previous status - before the violation of generally accepted rules and norms took place. In various religious practices, the action of purification is fulfilled with the help of Yoga, Calisthenics, water therapy, blood, fire, change of clothes, and sacrifice. The rituals are often considered as part of a person's healing from the devastating effect of guilt.

 

Throughout the history of humanity, catharsis was considered to have a strong healing effect and was applied in medicine, religion, cultural healing rituals, literature, and drama. The concept of catharsis has been widely used in modern psychology. Some modern therapeutic modalities emphasize the value of expression of repressed emotions and use catharsis as the essential tool for the positive therapeutic change.

The complexity of phenomenon of catharsis involves experiencing repressed emotional traumas within safe and supportive environment, involving emotional discharge, as well as an appropriate cognitive processing and insight.

The spread of Islam in the last century and its emergence and proliferation in the European world   coupled with growth of behaviorism, the role of catharsis as a beneficial psychological and spiritual technique to cleanse and purify one’s mind and body has gained momentum in the pan Islamic World.

The recent research on the healing and therapeutic effects of fasting backed by scientific data and its application on day to day life has led people of other faiths also to practice fasting and meditation.

The Saints and religious leaders of the Indo Pak sub continent have practiced meditation in remote Isolated places where they tried to establish a direct link with the creator without any let or hindrance from worldly desire or interference from fellow human beings.

Among the five tenets of Islam Salaat, (Prayers) and Soum (Fasting) are the strongest which one has to practice in day to day life which means making ablution (Wazu) five times a day which cleanses the body of the acolyte of worldly impurities and then standing on the prayer mat and bringing the distance from your forehead to the floor at zero thus purging yourself and bridging the gap of your soul to that of the creator by bowing in complete submission to the will of all mighty ALLAH.

The Holy month of Ramzan is around the corner and this month does not simply imply that the faithfuls should only practice prayers and meditation but the third tenet of Islam which is Zakat (Charity) is also a very important pillar of Islam which means that one should help his fellow human beings who are less fortunate than you are by giving help and alms to the needy and poor and sharing your Dastar khawan (Dining Table) with the less privileged who cannot even afford a single square meal a day.

The true spirit of Islam can be seen and witnessed during the Holy month of Ramzan when the mosques become full with the Namazi’s and way side Aftar Dastar Khawan’s spring up like mushrooms in every nook and corner of the country where the well to do go all out of the way to share their Aftar with the laborers, workers, travelers, sick and homeless people because the return and bounties of rewards promised by Allah during this month multiples each good deeds by 70 times.           

The Islamic month of Ramzan which is due to start from the 7th of June 2016 will give ample chance and opportunities to the faithful’s to purge one’s mind and body of all negative thoughts and impediments and replacing them with positive thoughts and energy by practicing Soum, Salaat and Zakat…..

 

 

Dr. Babur Zahiruddin

 

 

Jul 04

EXPEDITION TO RUSH LAKE

 

EXPEDITION TO RUSH LAKE

 

(The Highest Alpine Lake of Pakistan

     

      SPONSORED BY

  

In July this year 2017, FFC (Fauji Fertilizer Company) being a conscientious corporate citizen has sponsored a hiking and trekking expedition to RUSH LAKE the highest alpine lake of Pakistan (16000 feet).

 

 

The aims and objective of this expedition are to highlight the wonderful places which we have in Pakistan as many people still have not visited these areas because of the non availability of good organized group tours and a local guide.

My initial reconnaissance as a group leader has shown that the road conditions up to HUNZA in the HUNZA valley are very good and one can go on an ordinary vehicle up to Nagar to Hoper but in the side valley’s up to the trail head we need a good 4 x 4 vehicle  (off road).

The detailed itinerary of the expedition had already been given before but due to excessive landslides, rains and EID rush in that area the dates were subject to changes many times and slight modifications.

Hence the trip will be under taken from 07th to 17th July 2017.

 

RUSH LAKE TRIP

 

Hunza valley is located in the northern areas of Pakistan. This valley is one of the most beautiful places in the world and is a good tourist attraction, where tourists really enjoy their time and interact with mother nature. This is a mountainous valley, it gives spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains like Ultar Sar, Rakaposhi, Bojahagur Duanasir II, Ghenta Peak, Hunza Peak, Passu Peak, Diran Peak and Bublimotin (Ladyfinger Peak), all 6,000 metres (19,685 ft) or higher.

 

The Trek to Rusch Lake provides spectacular view of Rush Pari Peak-5098m, Miar Peak-6824m, Golden/Spantik-7027m, Ultar Peak-7388m, Malubiting Peak-7458m and the glaciers Miar glacier, Hopper glacier and much more.

Rush Lake trek is a rather a steep trek but well rewarding in the heart of the Hunza valley Pakistan. This trek will take you to the amazing Karakorum Mountains clusters the best on earth. You will be crossing glaciers, meadows and terraced fields of Karakoram. The trek ends at Rush Lake. (5,098 m 16,726 ft): 

This is a long trek you will start by driving by Jeep across the Hunza River at Hoper. This is where the snout of the famous Barpu glacier meets another glacier called Bualter. Hunzakuts (local people from Hunza) believe that glaciers are either male or female. Each glacier exudes its own gender qualities and when a male and female glacier meet they give birth to a baby glacier!

 

FFC SAFARI TOUR ITINERARY July 2017

 

Day 01: 08th July 2017

  • Meet on your arrival in Islamabad. Drive to Murree, Muzaffarabad, Gari Hahib Ullah, Bissian, Balakot, Naran / Chillas via the Babusar Pass over night at Chillas.

 

Day 02: 09th July 2017

  • Drive to Hunza and over night at Hassanabad / Aliabad / Kareemabad.

Day 03: 10th July 2017

  • Drive to Hunza later take Jeep to HOPAR village across the river Hunza. Overnight in tents.(Camping)

Day 04: 11th July 2017

  • Trek Hopar / Barpu Giram / Baricho – Core (6/8 hrs)

Baricho in local language means Musicians and Tinsmith together and Core means cave.  

Day 05: 12th July 2017

  • Baricho – Core to Khanni – Harai (4/6 hrs)

Day 06:  13th July 2017

  • Khanni – Harai Trek to Gutens / Rush Lake (5/6 hrs)

Day 07: 14th July 2017

  • Day free at Rush Lake(Optional)

 

Day 09: 15th July 2017

  • Trek Rush Lake/Gutens (3/4 hrs)

Day 10: 15th July 2017

  • Trek Gutens/Hopar (4/5 hrs) Walk down to Hopar and later drive to Hunza by jeeps. Overnight at Hotel

Day 11: 16th July 2017

  • Return journey to Chillas / Naran over Night at Naran
  • Option Next day visit to Altit Baltit fort eagles nest Khunjrab and Sust

Day 12: 17th July 2017

  • Dive to Islamabad via Bissian Chowk, Garhi Habib Ullah, Muzaffarabad, Murree and Islamabad.

Note:

The dates from 08th July 2017 may vary as to the road conditions / weather conditions and fitness of the participants / members and the local topographic conditions.

 

PRELUDE TO THE TRIP

Things taken by each participant.

 

PERSONAL.

 

  • Joggers, trainers, or hiking boots up to ankle high
  • 03 pairs of towel socks white colour
  • cap , jungle cap , sola cap
  • Sun glasses
  • Camera / Handy cam
  • Sun block with S.P.F 50 , anti sun block
  • Shooting jacket
  • Jeans , trousers , track suit shalwar kameez
  • T- shirt , sweat shirts
  • Vests , u / wear  Bermuda shorts
  • Shock proof wrists watch , pocket compass
  • Rechargeable flash light and torches
  • Personal medications
  • Towel handkerchief  and towels
  • Chappal and moccasins
  • Mosquito repellants / sprays
  • Personal back pack
  • Warm Clothes jacket / Pullover / Sweaters
  • Sleeping Bags (optional)
  • Ground Sheet   
  • Walking stick / Mountain Stick

 

EQUIPMENT:-

Provided by the Organizer 

  • Pick and shovel
  • Cooking utensils

Gas stove, frying pan, disposable glasses, plastic glasses, plates, fruit knife or sauce pan

  • Walkie / talkie , vehicle mobile charger
  • Generator
  • Masalas, condiments , salt , cooking oil , wheat flour , sugar tea bags, powder milk and rice
  • Tinned fruits cocktails , meat balls , minced meat , meat curry , fish
  • Biscuit saltish and fancy as per your liking loads and loads of them
  • Cold drinks , mineral water in  plastic bottles
  • Whistle & mega phone
  • G.P.R.S phone (If available)
  • Maps general map, topo graphic map, contour map.
  • To top it all by 4 x 4 vehicle / Toyota Hiace Ace / Hi Roof (Optional)
  • First Aid Kit

 

Daily Trek Notes

  • Reach your next destination point before sunset under no circumstances should you over stretch yourself or travel at night.
  • Please mark your route before you start your journey
  • There should be a talc sheet over your map with markings 
  • Permanent marker: - Plan your trek in such away that you are able to make it to your next point with in that day before sunset.

 

PREPARATIONS FOR THE TRIP

 

  • Please start walking and exercise daily by covering 1 mile distance in 15 minutes.
  • Climb 50 stairs in 10 – 12 minutes
  • Carry a load of 05 - 10 kg on your back for half to 1 hour

 

DETERMINATION

Remember this is a chance to see Mother Nature at its best and those areas of Pakistan where less than 10 % of the population of Pakistan has gone.

So be determined and make a resolve to complete this trip as a challenge for the outdoors.

Many people were invited to come and join the expedition subject to their physical fitness and willingness to be a happy member and part of the FFC team.

 

Now as I look forward to my over 50 years of experience as a Mountaineer, trekker and ecologist and having traveled to all the nook and corners of Pakistan there were still two adventurous treks which have eluded me in my career.

 

And now I am excited that I am going to Rush Lake & in October I will go Astola Island which I hope to complete ASP before I become too old to trek and climb mountains.

 

FOR THOSE WHO DARE LIFE HAS A CHALLENGE WHICH THE SHELTERED NEVER ENJOY.

 

I am thankful to Lt. Gen ® Khalid Nawaz Khan Chairman Fauji Foundation, Lt. Gen ® Shafqaat Ahmed (CE & MD) FFC and my special thanks to Brig ® Abid Mahmud head of CSR FFC for their help cooperation, for their patronage and kind sponsorship.

 

 

 

DR. BABUR ZAHIRUDDIN

Mountaineer, Ecologist, Trekker & Travelogue Writer

 

 

May 06

TRIP TO DUDIPATSAR JHEEL (KAGHAN / NARAN)

TRIP TO DUDIPATSAR JHEEL (KAGHAN / NARAN)

My trek to Dudipatsar Lake in September 2016, was a bit adventurous as I adopted a shorter and different route which my son USMAN RAZA ALIM suggested to take via BISSIAN on our last trip to SKURDU in May 2016.

First to LOWER TOPA to BHURBHAN to KOHALA Bridge into Azad Kashmir onwards to MUZAFARABAD to GARHI HABIB ULLAH and finally to BISSIAN Chowk.

The road to MUZZAFARABAD is very good, but at DOMAIL you head towards GHARI HABIB ULLAH which is quite an incline and took us about one & half hours to reach.

The road to BISSIAN is 25 kms, is a shingled road under construction and our speed was check mated by oncoming traffic and bad conditions of the road which terminated at BALAKOT and this route is 95 kms long and the journey time is three hours from Murree.

So there was a saving of time and avoiding the rush of Hassanabdal to Balakot which has bumper to bumper traffic during the tourist season.

At Naran the weather became cold and chilly so we had to don our woolies and then started for BATAKUNDI for night stay at FWO Engineers Mess.

 

 

My army training and my daily routine for the past 35 years has an inbuilt alarm clock in my subconscious that wakes me up early and on time but this was not so with my other participants who were late in getting up on 16th September 2016.

 

From BATAKUNDI we moved to JHALKHAD and arrived in BASEL at about 12.30 pm much to my astonishment and dismay BASEL town was deserted, to make things worse was that the overhead make shift cable car called DOLI in local language had been dismantled and there was no option but to cross the River let of KUNHAR on foot at a shallow point and wade through waist deep extremely cold water with an expanse of 30 feet.

We were following the left side of the KUNHAR River and as we went forward the trek became difficult and laborious.

 

The shadows of the evening were falling and becoming dark somehow or the other I managed to make it to the first ridge by 4.30 pm and started the small descent to GALMA, a small hamlet having a few scattered houses where the seasonal inmates comprising of the KHANA BADOOSH (gypsies) camp during the summer for grazing.

17th September Morning I went around the village and got hold of two horses on hire, on one we put all our back packs and cooking rations while the other horse was empty in case some member feels tired and exhausted.

 

At 9: 00 am we started our trek again to DUDIPATSAR lake along the river but this was relatively easy as compared to the trek last evening but my happiness did not last long as we were confronted with glaciers which we had to traverse on an incline steep climb. Those of us who were wearing joggers had difficulty in climbing as their shoes were slippery and had to be helped with hand tow and snow sticks were provided to them for leverage.

After crossing MULLAH KI BASTI we came across another glacier which took us about an hour and a half to get to the other side which was again a smooth trek for 30 minutes after which we came across muddy quagmire where some of the participants were bogged knee down and ropes were provided so that they could leverage on it and come out of the quick sand entanglement conditions and finally reached DUDIPATSAR LAKE.

DUDIPATSAR Lake or Dudipat Lake is encircled by snow clad peaks and lies in the extreme north of the Kaghan Valley. The word "dudi" means white, "pat" means mountains and "sar" means lake. This name has been given to the lake because of the white color of snow on the surrounding peaks. In summer the water of the lake reflects like a mirror. The word "sar" is used with the name of each lake in the area, translating as 'lake.'

The lake's water is beautiful greenish blue hue and very cold, at an elevation of 3,800 metres (12,500 ft). The surrounding mountains, with snow patches in the shady dales, average around 4,800 metres 15,700 ft. Some of the park's fauna includes the snow leopard, black bear, marmot, weasel, lynx, leopard, Himalayan snow cock, and snow partridge.

The wild life I saw were the marmots (Weasels) who were playing with each other and gave out a shrill call from distance when they saw us and then disappeared in to their burrows when we came near.

This is one of the few clear pristine lakes which still have not been spoilt by the intrusion of HOMOSAPIENS like the deplorable conditions of SAIF UL MALOOQ and LULUSAR Lake.

How can I describe this beautiful lake I may be running short of words to pen the exact picture of this MONALISA of nature.

 

The morning sun reflects into the crystal clear water giving the image of a mirror where you can see your own reflection which becomes even more augmented and magnified by the calmness and depth of the water.

We spent about one hour at the lake site and enjoyed the cool breeze blowing and the sight of the mountains when I called everyone to attention, from the state of trance in which they were mesmerized.

 

It was time to make our way back to MULLAH KI BASTI but without any indication or warning it started raining cats and dogs and we have to don rain coats and to protect our rations from getting wet.

Since it had rained recently crossing the muddy quick sand became even more difficult but somehow or the other with the help of the ropes and the guide we made it to the other side and reached the left side of the river where we picked up the trail to MULLAH KI BASTI.

 

The night at MULLAH KI BASTI we found better tents, sleeping arrangements a hot supper of Dall Roti which we gulped down quickly and off course my delicacy and weakness of cardamom tea was the last call of the evening before we went to sleep at about 9 O Clock.

     

18th September 2016, quick breakfast at MULLAH KI BASTI, started back for GALMA village which we reached at about 11.30 pm where we said good bye to the horses and our guide.

We reached BASEL and after crossing the KUNHAR river made it where our vehicles were parked and started our way back to our Mess in BATAKUNDI which we reached at about 3 O’ Clock where I changed in to fresh clothes and went for a rest.

In the evening I was awoken by teammates that they had bought a big lamb and were going to have BBQ and bon fire to make merry.

 

As I look back over my 50 years of experience as a Mountaineer, trekker and ecologist and having traveled to all the nook and corners of Pakistan there are still two adventurous treks which have eluded me in my career.

 

That is Rush Lake & Astola Island which I hope to complete ASP before I become too old to trek and climb mountains.

 

 

DR. BABUR ZAHIRUDDIN

May 04

LOOSING A WAGER

 

LOOSING A WAGER

It was way back in 1992, when I started my regular trips to Northern areas (NA) and later on as an expert of NA, I was invited by many social gatherings to share my experiences about the beautiful places of Pakistan. It was during one question and answer session sometimes back when one senior Col. Of the Armed Forces asked me Sir, have you been to the second coldest desert in the world?

I replied that NO! I have not been to that place and where is it?

He said that is located in SKURDU valley in Pakistan to which I showed my ignorance about this desert and told him that no such place exits in Pakistan.

On this the Col. Wagered with me that such a place exits and at that time after consulting the Wikipedia I realized that I had lost the wager.

Since I lost the wager I became very much anxious and enthusiastic to visit this place, but it was not until August 2016 when my son USMAN ALIM came especially from Calgary Canada to make a small expedition to visit SKURDU VALLEY.

Finally the day came when I got an opportunity to visit the famous deserts of SHIGAR also known as KATPANA deserts and SHIGAR FORT.

The KATPANA DESERTS are located in SKURDU, GILGIT-BALTISTAN in Pakistan, and is the second COLDEST DESERT IN THE WORLD.

There are sand dunes in SKURDU around the Indus River. This desert stretches from the KHAPLU VALLEY to NUBRA LADAKH and SHIGAR SKURDU valley to ZANSKAR in India. But the largest desert area is found in SKURDU and SHIGAR valley. Locally called BIANA NAQPO and KATPANA BIANA.

There is a historical perspective about this desert when On October 13th, 1950, a DC-3 aircraft belonging to Orient airways crash landed after three minutes of take off from SKURDU Airport. All passengers and crew survived. One of it's famous passengers was JAMES MITCHENER.

James Mitchener first book Tales of the South Pacific which was published in 1947, when he was 40. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1948.

Brig Aslam Khan the owner of Shangrilla resort at that time bought this plane from Orient airways for Rs. 150.00, and after three months of efforts involving hundreds of men, bullocks and horses, moved it to its present site in the Shangri-La Resort located at GAMBAH about 30kms from SKURDU. This plane can now be seen in the Shangrila resort gardens as it has been renovated refurbished and turned into a coffee shop.

It was early morning on 24th July 2016, I had my usual ritual of bed tea followed by breakfast in my GILGIT BALTISTAN scout mess and by 0945, had put all my entourage in the vehicle and made our way to the town centre to have gasoline filled and headed north towards Hospital Road on to SHIGAR Road where after 10 km, had to make a left turn towards ASKOLE and SHIGAR.

We Crossed the SHIGAR river at the SHIGAR bridge and after climbing for some time, came across the sandy deserts of SHIGAR which are the second coldest desert in the world.

This wide expanse of wilderness of the SHIGAR desert makes you fall in love with it immediately, Why can't we develop these tourist resorts like the one we have in Dubai which is famous for the desert Safari and one has to pay 200 dirham’s for a roller coaster jeep ride in that desert.

The road running through the SHIGAR desert is very well maintained and is a good mettled road which bisects the SHIGAR desert into two equal halves as you stand in the centre of the road and look on each side you can see the wide expanse of the deserts as far as you can see silhouetted by the gigantic mountains on all four sides giving you the impression as if you are on a floating sandy platform with the surrounding mountains being your anchor.

This expanse of Sandy wilderness gives the enthusiastic hot Roding youngsters to mount on their off road 4x4 and drive at a breakneck speed from one end of the desert to the other end as if they were filming for the movie FAST AND FURIOUS.    

I stood there for a long time and took pictures and I went down the memory lane when as a regimental medical officer with 4, Engineers Battalion stationed at SHATOOT village near SHENGUS in 1976, I did not get an opportunity to visit this magnificent desert although I was only a stone throw away.

Going uphill for quite some time you slowly gain altitude and come to the vantage point where SHIGAR valley comes into view. This valley is lush green with vegetation and foliage and the SHIGAR river flows around the small hamlet of SHIGAR.

SHIGAR valley is the home of gem stones and minerals and also boasts of having the oldest AMBURIQ MOSQUE of the GILGIT-BALTISTAN region. The other places to visit here are the SHIGAR fort, the local bazaar JARBASO LAKE, KHILINGRONG MOSQUE.

My own opinion of the SHIGAR fort is that a local hotel chain has usurped it and imposed an entrance fee per head which is not worth it as you can go around the fort in just ten minutes.

There is nothing worth buying in SKURDU / SHIGAR as things are brought from Punjab like shawls and handicrafts and resold here at exorbitant prices. The only thing recommended for buying here is the Serpentine Stone (ZAHAR MORA) which comes from SHIGAR valley and is considered to be an antidote for poisoning and for healing bones and joint problems.

 

The meaning of the name of this crystal, comes from the Greek word 'serpens', meaning snake, because of the way that many pieces of this stone have a similarity to the appearance of snakeskin. 

There are other small walking trails like the THALAY LA trail which goes behind the SHIGAR fort up into the mountains where you can view ibex and mountain cats in the wild and descend on the other side into GANCHE District in the east.

There are plenty of lakes and streams and can be considered a hiker's paradise but one word of caution, please do not go on these trails by yourself but hire the services of a professional trained guide.

I saw many people who were taking selfies and plucking apples, plums and cherries from the trees. One notable point about this place was the neat and clean aura and ambience of the surroundings.

SHIGAR desert must be put on the top priority of your must visit places while you are in SKURDU VALLEY.

 

DR. BABUR ZAHIRUDDIN

May 04

TOWER OF SILENCE

 

As a Master Trainer in Human Resources, I always put MCQ questions to my participants about the various ecological and geographical sites of Pakistan and my favorite question is “Where is the TOWER OF SILENCE located in Pakistan”?

It was the morning of 14th December 2016, at 9.00 am, I was waiting at the entry gate to the PARSI Colony located near KALA PULL (Black Bridge) in Mehmoodabad Karachi and waited for my escort to take me inside for a guided tour of the PARSI Colony Karachi.

The PARSI’s are a very close knit secluded community who pride themselves in their religious norms, customs and traditions which they have practiced for times immemorial.

Hence the entry into the closely guarded walled PARSI colony is restricted and you can only enter if you have some PARSI friend escorting you and in this case it was one of my old Army contacts who arrived on time and took me inside the colony.

My objective today was to see the Tower of Silence in the PARSI Colony which had always intrigued me and was like an obsession for me to visit and write about this secluded, mysterious, cryptic, esoteric forbidden area.

My escort took me up to the funeral pier and told me that beyond this point even he cannot go as the ritual precinct can only be entered by a special class of pallbearers, called nusessalars, a contraction of nasa.salar, caretaker (-salar) of potential pollutants (nasa-).

A TOWER OF SILENCE is a circular, raised structure built by PARSI’s (Zoroastrians) for excarnation – that is, for dead bodies to be exposed to carrion birds.

Carrion birds are large, carnivorous, scavenger birds, species include buzzards, rocs, condors, vultures, and swoops. They usually have featherless heads and broad, slow-flapping wingspans.

The Zoroastrians faith and rationale is that the earth and fire are considered sacred and should not be exposed to contamination. Zoroastrian tradition considers a dead body (in addition to cut hair and nail parings) to be nasu, unclean, i.e. potential pollutants.

One of the earliest literary descriptions of such a building appears in the late 9th-century Epistles of Manushchihr, where the technical term is astodan, "ossuary".  Ossuary a container or room in which the bones of dead people are placed. Another term used is dokhmag, for any place for the dead.

In the Indo Pak sub continent the first tower of silence was built in Doongerwadi Mumbai and hence bears the same name as it was constructed on a hill of that name.

The modern-day towers, which are fairly uniform in their construction, have an almost flat roof, with the perimeter being slightly higher than the center so that the remains slide down easily.

The roof is divided into three concentric rings: the bodies of men are arranged around the outer ring, women in the second circle, and children in the innermost ring.

The bodies are then left for the Vultures to dispose off and no other method has proved fully effective.

Once the bones have been bleached by the sun and wind, which can take as long as a year, they are collected in an ossuary pit at the center of the tower, where – assisted by lime – they gradually disintegrate, and the remaining material – with run-off rainwater or the underlying sea takes care of the rest.  

If you look at the old map of Karachi the sea had access right up to Mahmoodabad, Baradari, and Abdullah Shah Ghazi Mazaar, but later on with the passage of time the sea receded leaving behind the sandy beaches of Clifton and sea view.

As I was taking photographs of the tower I could not help noticing that there were no carrion birds in the vicinity and only a few stray eagles  and kites perched themselves above the Tower walls.

The reasons for this is  the population of birds of prey in the Indian subcontinent has declined nearly 100% due to DICLOFENAC poisoning of the birds following the introduction of that drug for livestock in the 1990.

The few surviving birds are often unable to fully consume the bodies. PARSI communities in India are currently evaluating captive breeding of vultures and the use of "solar concentrators" to accelerate decomposition. Some have been forced to resort to burial, as the solar collectors work only in clear weather.

The PARSI community in Pakistan are concentrated mostly in the city of Karachi and have made quite a remarkable impact on the metropolis, but the size of the always small PARSI community in Karachi is on the decline.

 

The major reason for the declining population of PARSI’s in Karachi is migration to Western countries.

There are about 1200 to 1300 PARSI’S in Pakistan according to a local census done privately and the attrition rate is further declining due to the senility of the PARSI population and low reproductive rate just like the drop in the ocean of a city.

In recent years, the PARSI’s motivation to leave Pakistan has been compounded by the extremely volatile political and security conditions, a sentiment reflected among both the young and old in the community.

The contribution of the PARSI’s in charitable, philanthropic and altruistic activities like, school, dispensaries, play grounds, hospitals and welfare centres without discrimination of religion has to be applauded and placed on record.

 

PARSI’s are sometimes referred to as "fire-worshippers" because of the central role that fire plays in their rituals. Their temples each have a consecrated fire that burns eternally and some of the fires have been kept alive for centuries.

The priests Nawar wear masks covering their mouths and noses so that the fire is not desecrated by their breath or saliva.


More than half the PARSI population in Karachi now is over fifty years old. The local clergy MOBED also called DASTURJI is aging, without anyone to replace them.

It is very difficult to get hold of trained Nawar as they are schooled in India, and are in no mood to move to Pakistan "for all the money in the world."

"At our fire temple, we have three priests. Two of them are more than 80 years old," says Shahveer Byramji, Zane Byramji's uncle and a managing trustee of one of the two fire temples in the city.

 
I stood at the funeral pier and glanced around I was wonder stuck with many tablets, plaques and inscriptions which were written on the structures around the tower of silence and notable of them was UNEQUAL IN LIFE, ALL LIE EQUAL IN DEATH.

But there was more written on that marble slab, in letters accentuated with black ink: NO SPECIAL PLACE FOR ANYONE. NO MINE, NO THINE, NO HIS, NO HERS, ALL INSEPARABLE AND INDISTINGUISHABLE, SLEEP SIDE BY SIDE, PARTNERS AND EQUALS.

It is the perception belief and interpretation of one’s religious norms which separates us from one another where as GOD created all human beings equal to one another.

As I made my way back to the entrance I ruminated deeply that no religion of the world promotes violence but teaches us to live in peace, harmony and to love our fellow human beings.

I hope my message of religious harmony spreads to all corners of the world.   

 

Dr. Babur Zahiruddin

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 24

Appeal for Donations / Zakat

DEAR FRIENDS / WELL WISHERS AND DONORS

AOA,

The Holy month of Ramzan is now only five weeks away as it starts from 26 / 27 of May 2017.

Keeping up our past tradition this year again we at RAZA CHARITY TRUST are arranging AFTARI for more than 200 people in the mosque on daily basis and also arranging RATIONS for 1400 individuals who are poor and needy.

Every year the poor and needy are hit by inflation and price hike and edible items of daily use are now beyond the reach of the common man and for this purpose we are also arranging Rations items for the needy. 

An Appeal to all Humanitarian and philanthropic organizations, individuals and volunteers to come forward and help us in this noble cause...

Last year we started an enrollment plan for potential recipient of Zakat by making RATION CARDS and making a data backup of their details so that the old and infirm do not suffer by standing in the Sun and adverse hot weather conditions which falls in the month of May / June 2017. 

The registration of the Zakat Recipients in the form of Ration Cards has been met with great success and we will start giving Rations to the registered Cases from 15th of May 2017.

This has been done because in the scorching heat of May / June it is difficult to provide shade to the throng of fasting people who rush at our charity headquarters and secondly my own physical faculties are not what they used to be about a decade back. This also goes for my workers and helpers.    

No doubt there are many charities and trusts who are already working in this sector but RAZA CHARITY TRUST is a down to earth hands on organization in which no honorarium is paid to any trustee / Volunteer  for his input... and efforts.

As said by Rabindar Nath Tagore the first Nobel laureate of South East Asia that one Candle lights another candle and in this way a thousand candles can be lit and in turn the world can be lit.

Let the flame of hope be kept alive by your generous donations and contributions, 

So that the poor and needy people are able to celebrate their RAMZAN / EID with no tears in their eyes.

Please send your donations / contributions / zakat in the form of cash & cheque to Raza

Charity Trust.

The account details are as follows:

Details of Account are as under:

Title Of Account                      Raza Charity Trust / Zeeshan Raza Alim       

Account Number                     0471000003333

CIF ID                                       000141750

Swift Code                               ASCMPKKA

IBAN                                        PK33ASCM0000471 000003333

Bank                                        Askari Bank Limited

                                                Haider Road Branch Saddar Rawalpindi

Please send in your pledges and commitments so that I can budget my activities.

All your contributions will be much appreciated and acknowledged.

 

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely

 

DR. BABUR ZAHIRUDDIN

123/B, Market Road,

Saddar, Rawalpindi

Ph: 0092-51-5130399 ,

Cell: 0092-332- 4923235

Apr 24

ACTIVITY FOR THE MONTH OF April 2017 (Second)

 ACTIVITY FOR THE MONTH OF April 2017

Dear Donors,

For the month of April 2017, we had a second registered case verified by our field staff and approved.

The details are as under:

Mehwish D/o Nighat Yasmeen R/o House no. 949, St no. 09, Mohallah Ghaziabad, Pathan Colony, Rawalpindi, NIC No. 37405 –1074692-4, who was married on 20th of April 2017.

She was in need of the dowry furniture, which we have funded from our Raza Charity Trust account, but we still have more registered cases in the pipeline.

Arrangements have been made for the following furniture items for Mehwish bibi dowry which was handed over to her mother.

  • 01 Double bed
  • 01 dressing table
  • 01 ALMARI for Crockery

The budget for this furniture which has been arranged from funds lying with us while contributions from my friends and donors are eagerly awaited so that we are able to arrange the dowry furniture for other recipients who are waiting for their turn.

Please send in your donation / contributions in the form of cheque or direct online transfer to the following account.

 

Details of Account are as under:

 

Title Of Account                      Zeeshan Raza Alim

Account Number                     0471000003333 

CIF ID                                      000141750

 Bank                                       Askari Bank Limited

                                                Haider Road Branch Saddar, Rawalpindi

 

The pictures of the family along with her family and furniture in the background are attached herewith.

I pray for all of you and for the Muslim UMMAH in particular.

Thank you my friends for making this noble effort possible.

GOD BLESS U.

Best Regards

 

Dr. Babur Zahiruddin


123/B, Market Road, Saddar, Rawalpindi

Ph: 051-5130399

Cell: 0332-4923235

www.drbabur.com

www.mastertrainerhr.com

 

Apr 12

ACTIVITY FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL 2017

 ACTIVITY FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL 2017

Dear Donors,

Since we started our philanthropic activities about 15 years back there were many needy, poor and deserving cases in need of help and amelioration.

In the first five years we were faced with the problem of shortage of funds and resources and could help only a few people over the year.

But now generous donations and contributions are coming to us every now and then which has taken care of the problem of shortage of funds.

Now at Raza Charity Trust we have a very long line of Zakat recipients who are in the queue waiting for their turn, but now the impediment faced by us is that there is shortage of verification staff who go out in the field to verify the bona fides and antecedents of the would be recipients of donations.

So our campaign for provision of dowry for needy and orphan girls has become very popular because in such cases we do thorough and detailed scrutiny and provide furniture / items of dowry a few days before the wedding.

This month in the end of March 2017, we had a registered case approved by our field staff.

We were approached by Balqees Bibi R/o House No. NE-194, St no. 26, Waris Khan, Rawalpindi NIC No. 37405 –6382124 – 2, whose daughter Neelum Ghafar was married on 01st of April 2017.

The following items of furniture for Neelum Ghafar dowry was arranged and handed over to her family.

  • One Sofa Set
  • 01 Double bed
  • 01 dressing table
  • 01 ALMARI for Crockery

 

As usual the budget for this furniture were arranged from funds lying with us while contributions from my friends and donors are eagerly awaited so that we are able to arrange the dowry furniture for other recipients who are waiting for their turn.

Please send in your donation / contributions in the form of cheque or direct online transfer to the following account.

 

Details of Account are as under:

 

Title Of Account                  Zeeshan Raza Alim

Account Number                 0471000003333 

CIF ID                                    000141750

 Bank                                     Askari Bank Limited

                                                Haider Road Branch Saddar, Rawalpindi

 

 

The pictures of the family along with her mother and furniture in the background are attached herewith.

I pray for all of you and for the Muslim UMMAH in particular.

Thank you my friends for making this noble effort possible.

GOD BLESS U.

 

Best Regards

 

 

Dr. Babur Zahiruddin


123/B, Market Road, Saddar, Rawalpindi

Ph: 051-5130399

Cell: 0332-4923235

www.drbabur.com

www.mastertrainerhr.com

https://www.facebook.com/Raza-Charity-Trust-2129392303953077/

 

 

 

Older posts «

» Newer posts