‘A Glimpse on Green Volunteers’

When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters; one represents difficulty, while the other represents opportunity.  It’s not the event which matters most; it’s the point of view which defines not only the attitude but also the occurrences, same as the glass half full or half empty…

There has been a lot of talk on how we as a nation are suffering of many disasters; political instability, external pressure, drone attacks, and the natural disasters.  All I see on the faces around me is denial and ignorance, hatred and detestation, protest and complain.

And I believe there are three kinds of people around me; those who plan to run away or have already escaped, those who sit and complain and wait for someone to come up and fix everything; and those who are the *awaited* SOMEONES.  For myself I choose to be that SOMEONE.  And that is the reason I joined Green Volunteers.

Green Volunteers is a student based nonprofit, non-government organization established in 2010 originally aimed at providing a helping hand in the flood relief activities to the victims of the flood hit areas in lower Punjab and Sindh.  Green Volunteers Pakistan initiated their work for the rehabilitation of the flood affected people to survive the time of calamity.

A group of youngsters including Rameez Mumtaz (recently completed his ACCA), Ali Anis (BSC Economics – LUMS), Shah Talha Sohail (doing Mechanical Engineering from Pakistan Navy Engineering College – NUST), and Saad Akbar (doing Electrical Engineering from School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences – NUST ) accompanied by their friends decided to be among the latter as well.

You must take personal responsibility.  You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.  That is something you have charge of. ~ Jim Rohn

They started with an aim to do their part; instead of asking – they planned to give.  In the beginning it was solely this small group of friends and their friends and families who worked hard to do as much as possible for those who needed not just them but all of us.

What this organization does is that it provides immediate assistance to the affected through the provision of food, water, medicines and other basic necessities, to the best in its capacity.  Later it tries its best to compensate these needy families ‘at least’ to the extent that they need not be dependent on anyone but themselves and are able to support themselves without any external assistance

But as the organization grew bigger and people started believing in Green Volunteers, things became more and more decent.  The satisfaction in helping and ‘paying your part’ is beyond anything else.  Ever more people were joining the good cause.  And if you have a will to do something it is not hard to do it.

Far along, Green Volunteers introduced their merchandise.  Most of the funds are generated by the sale of these commodities which include the famous ‘I AM PAKISTAN’ wrist bands, the GV T-Shirts, Hoodies and Pens.

Later on Green Volunteers started different campaigns most of which were aimed at involving the youth by creating awareness and educating them on different issues we have around us and can fix ourselves without bad mouthing the government and other ‘concerned’ authorities.  And one of the best examples of one such campaign is the Anti-Wall Chalking Drive.

On August 14, 2011 Green Volunteers decided to celebrate around; not by blowing crackers and fireworks and removing silencers from their vehicles but by Painting the walls which were ruining the beauty of the country and depicting hate speech.  Many walls in and around G-6, G-7 and F-8 areas in Islamabad were painted white by the volunteers. It was Independence Celebration, not just in a different way but also by making a difference.

The second round of the same drive took place in F-10, E-11 and F-8 area on February 11, 2012.  So, once again the volunteers bucketed up with paint and rollers and were out on the streets; making a difference.

Another idea which the Volunteers came up with to involve the youth was ‘Mera Pakistan Competition’ in which the participants had to submit any kind of pictures depicting anything about Pakistan.  The album end up showing pictures which depicted love for the country, the beauty of Pakistan and the pain hidden underneath that beauty.  The facebook link to the album is: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.177485812312420.46513.114933518567650&type=3

Another effort was the ‘Tree Plantation Drive where Volunteers planted trees along the side of Margalla Road opposite Sector F-8, Islamabad.

One of my personal favorites was ‘Remembering the unsung Heroes’ when Green Volunteers spent their Eid out on the street with the Islamabad traffic police and Islamabad Police who was out on the roads just to protect us and ensure stable traffic flow and security control in the city while we were all having fun at our homes with our families partying around.

Apart from that Green Volunteers keep on visiting different Homes for children like Saba Trust and SOS Village to spend some time with the children who have been deprived of their basic right to be happy.  And smiles on their faces are beyond anything else in the whole world.

So, coming back to whining and complaining part of my nation and my people, it’s very disappointing to know that when it comes to paying back, there is no one to say a word.  But I am extremely lucky to be finally around some people who believe in giving to the nation and paying their part in their own way, however small it may be [which by the way it’s not =) ] and they don’t only talk about it but they do…  As they say:

We left talking a while back. Now we just DO.

And I joined the organization, so, that I may be able to pay my part in helping my country in my small way.  I want to pay back to my country, though I may not ever be able to, for what it has given to me.

Post Writing:

Gossip shared by: Aymen Zehra, BS Software Engineering Student from SEECS, NUST

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