Bradford man raises thousands of pounds for Pakistan relief (BBC)

    26 August, 2010
    BBC News

    A businessman from Bradford has raised £150,000 to help flood victims in Pakistan.

    Naheem Khans campaign has seen generous donations from towns and cities across West Yorkshire towards the disaster appeal.

    Naheem is now calling on the wider community, as a matter of urgency, to become more involved in what has turned into a humanitarian disaster.

    Naheem, who has co-ordinated his one-man appeal among West Yorkshires Pakistani community, says: Its just unbelievable the response that Ive had.

    It started off as a street collection and managed to raise £30,000.

    Then as Ramadan started I held a dinner, asking people who have been fasting to come along and break their fast in a restaurant and that saw a lot of money raised.

    Im really surprised by how much money people have been donated. Its extraordinary.

    Ive done volunteer work, but I have never done something like this on my own, on this scale. Ive never done anything like it.
    Flood victims in Pakistan
    An Army officer helps to distribute aid to some of the flood victims

    Millions of people have been affected by the worst floods to hit Pakistan for 80 years and at least 1,600 have died.

    Naheem says he was watching the news as the disaster unfolded, which prompted him to take on this mission. He says he has been assisted by his nephew with the collections and now they both hope to travel to Pakistan in September to distribute the aid themselves.

    They have joined forces with an NGO organisation that is based in Bradford to help assist them.

    Naheem says he feels it is his duty to make sure the aid is properly distributed.

    He says: The few people who have helped me and want to go with me to be more hands-on.

    Theres a charity Ive worked with before called the Ummah Welfare Trust who will help convert the money into food which should make it easy for us.

    Ive done my homework on this and Ive been working with Pakistan International Airways to enquire about chartering a flight. The flights are usually full at this time of the year, but because of the disaster, no one is travelling.

    We hope to to travel ten days after Ramadan. By then the roads will be more accessible.

    Naheem says his family connections will also aid him when he gets there.

    He explains: y family have got links with the army there and we should hopefully have their support. It will lessen the threat of us being attacked by a mob of hungry people, and you cant blame them really.

    Im hoping to turn the money into aid and will also distribute the money among those who need it the most.

    Orignal article can be viewed here.