Pakistani Students Association raises money and builds awareness in response to deadly floods in Pakistan


Daily file illustration by Olivia Abeyta

The Pakistani Student Association is raising awareness and money for victims of the floodings in Pakistan.

Pavan Acharya, Assistant Campus Editor

As Pakistan recovers from floods that have displaced millions, Northwestern students are taking action to provide aid.

NU’s Pakistani Students Association is one of many organizations across the U.S. raising funds for flood relief. Starting in June, Pakistan was subjected to extreme monsoon rains, resulting in flooding that has since killed around 1700 people. 

“A lot of PSA’s (across the U.S.) were all in agreement that we need to capitalize on the money that exists at institutions like Northwestern and help people who are really not at fault for what’s happening right now in Pakistan,” PSA President and McCormick junior Hajra Malik said.

Malik said PSA’s primary fundraising method is through contributions to a Venmo account. She said PSA will donate the money to three organizations: the Sangha Foundation, the Women Democratic Front and the Flood Relief Fund Drive. These organizations will target regions of Pakistan most impacted by the flooding.

Supplies include food, menstrual products, blankets, clothes, tents and other materials to aid reconstruction efforts, Malik said. She added that NU students can show support for Pakistan by donating money or sharing information.

Malik said it’s also important to call out a “double standard” in regards to coverage of the floods in Pakistan in comparison to other global tragedies, comparing media surrounding Queen Elizabeth II’s death to reporting on the flooding or the devastation caused by Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico.

“One person dying does not take precedent over the lives of many people,” Malik said.

According to PSA Fundraising Chair and Weinberg junior Asim Khan, the organization has raised about $800 so far.

Khan said PSA also tried to raise awareness of the flooding at the Fall Organization Fair in September and a recent interfaith meeting. He said the group is also utilizing WhatsApp groups and flyers around campus to spread information. However, Khan said the relatively small number of Pakistani students on campus makes it more difficult to raise money.

“Right now, we are just trying to raise awareness,” Khan said. “We’re trying to get as many funds as we can.”

PSA Events co-Chair and McCormick senior Virad Bhatti said although he did not see as much coverage of the floods at first, he has seen increased awareness in recent weeks in the form of educational Instagram posts. 

PSA faces an additional challenge in raising awareness since the organization is still relatively new, Bhatti said, having been founded in March.

“(Our) first step is to establish our presence on campus and establish a Pakistani community on campus,” Bhatti said. “The next step is to create fundraising events, and that is when we’ll start to get more donations.”

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Twitter: @PavanAcharya02

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