Bolton Mans Burmese Mercy Mission

    Friday 16th May 2008
    AsianImage

    A BOLTON man is flying out to Burma to help victims of Cyclone Nargis.

    Iqbal Rawat will be taking five cases of medicine, donated by pharmacies in Bolton, when he travels to the devastated country on Saturday.
    The drugs are vital to help stop the spread of disease.

    Cyclone Nargis has left 34,000 people dead, 27,000 are missing and millions are homeless.Health charities are warning that 1.9 million survivors are in desperate need of emergency aid.

    Mr Rawat, aged 40, whose family are from the Mandalay area of Burma, is also hoping to help build bamboo shelters and distribute food parcels.

    He said: 'I have got my visa sorted and all plans are in place for me to fly out on Saturday. 'We will have to be very discreet when we help people because of the authorities.

    'Some of the photos I have seen are very disturbing. One of the threats to survivors is catching diseases, so we are taking antibiotics, rehydration solution and water purification tablets, which have been kindly donated by local pharmacies.' Mr Rawat was born in Burma, but moved with his family to Bolton when he was still a baby.

    He is one of the founders of Ummah Welfare Trust (UWT), a charity based in Derby Street, Bolton. It has been operating for three years in Burma, where field workers have been digging wells and building homes.

    The trust has so far raised more than £50,000 for the cyclone victims. Mr Rawat plans to spend 10 days helping the emergency rescue operation in Burma - weather permitting.

    He said: 'Another cyclone has been predicted so plans could change. 'If the worst happens, I may have to go on a later date because I won't be able to move around the country and get to the people who need the help.' The charity is aiming to raise £500,000 for emergency aid.

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