Yesterday Gul Bahao’s Research Center was formally inaugurated by the Sindh Assembly Speaker Mr. Nisar Ahmed Khoro. This is part of the Gul Bahao’s Complex located on a two thousand sq.yards plot on main Rashid Minhas Road. A crowd of more than three hundred people welcomed the Speaker on his arrival. The atmosphere was that of a mela with music blaring away and people coming in and looking at the different exhibits of the NGO. Amongst them were:
- The FUEL PACK – block containing inflammable waste material which it was said could be a cheap substitute for running thermal power plants.
- CHOORA CHARA – packets containing dry fodder for live stock.
- A MOBILE TOILET for females.
- PAKI PANI – a simple water purifying method.
However the biggest crowd puller was the CHANDI GHAR. This as well as the Hall used for the occasion were made of pre-fabricated material, innovated by Gul Bahao.
A major event of the occasion was the public meeting addressed by the leaders of the civil society. Nargis Latif pointed to the banner placed behind the dais which read “Karachi’s gift to the world”. She said we have been following the rest of the world specially the West for a long time. She said Gul Bahao for the last fifteen years tried to reverse the trend. It is only today that it has succeeded in attracting the attention of the Government. Nargis lamented that though the NGO has spent not less than four crore rupees on its research activities during the last ten years it received only Rs. 15000/- from the previous Government.
The Speaker of the Sindh Assembly Mr. Nisar Khoro described Gul Bahao’s Chandi Ghar as a “modern Juggi”. He said that a cemented house has become unaffordable for the poorest of the poor but now at least they will be able to give a dwelling safe from the elements for as little as 7-8 thousands rupees, the cost of a Chandi Ghar. The Speaker referred to Nargis Latif as a “jununi” or mad. He said only a person with deep commitment could take up the monumental task of doing what she is doing. Other speakers included Mr. Ashraf Nawaz of Pakistan Help Line, Mr. Habibuddin Junaidi, a well known leader of Pakistan Peoples Party and a number of leaders from the Seraiki Community. The Hall kept reverberating with slogans in favour of Peoples Party.