Yesterday Nargis Latif of Gul Bahao addressed a meeting of the Rotary Club Defense. Nargis said that Gul Bahao has participated in relief work in all major natural disasters that have taken place in the last ten years or so. Be it the earth quake of 2005,floods of 2010,the recent earthquake in Awaran,fires in Shantinagar in Karachi etc. According to her,although in terms of numbers there is no comparison with the immense work done by others (both national and international agencies), Gul Bahaos intervention has been historic nonetheless. These disasters, she said helped in the launching and growth of the Chandi technology,she said. According to her,more than nine crore rupees have gone into developing this technology, while it has taken more than 20 years.
The Gul Bahao head revealed that her organisation is now on the eve of taking off for Tharparkar where the representatives of the Prime ministers relief team have been been anxiously waiting for the arrival of this technology which is eminently suitable for the desert like conditions of the Thari terrain as well as the nomadic lifestyle of the people as the Chandi ghar is portable in nature . What is more, it is cool in summer and warm in winter. According to Nargis Latif Gul Bahao has an ambitious program of giving thousands of Tharis prefabricated Chandi blocks which being modular in nature can be easily converted into rooms, water storing ponds, beds ,tables and sofas . The Rotarians were informed that Gul Bahao will be providing mobile toilets for the women folk which is indispensable for them in the bare,treeless desert. While the Chandi technology has numerous advantages,she said what makes it stand out is the low cost making it very useful for the lower classes.
Appealing to urban based Rotarians Nargis said that it must be realized that if the rural people are not helped during disasters they will have no alternative except to migrate to the cities making them totally unsustainable.Nargis said that the need of the hour is to have more towns and cities all over the country rather than having one or two metropolises. The Chandi technology can play an important role in motivating the youth to move out of the big cities into the rural areas, she said.
Nargis thanked the Rotary Club Defense for helping to finance its relief work for Thar as well as their monetary help in their relief work in Awaran Baluchistan recently. Here it may be mentioned that Gul Bahao in its immediate program for Mithi is being helped by City School Darakshan Campus as well.
Gul Bahao’s research work on water purification called Paki Paani has been vindicated said Nargis Latif in an interview she gave on “Ba Khabar Sawera” ARY One World Channel. She said that the Vice Chancellor of the Dow University of Health Sciences at a press conference held recently said that “Diseases which spread through consumption of contaminated water can be controlled by exposing water to the Sun.”
This methodology Nargis Latif said was named Paaki Paani by Gul Bahao in the year 2007 and ever since it has been advocating this through pamphlets, through the media, lectures, exhibitions and through word of mouth. Picking up a mineral water bottle filled with water she said this should be put out in the sun for a few hours cooled, and then drunk. This way ultraviolet rays of the sun will pass through the water and kill the germs while keeping the minerals intact. Now Nargis said poor people will be having free access to mineral water. She said she is trying to persuade a manufacturer of P.E.T bottles to increase their manufacture so that the 16 crore people of Pakistan can make their own germ free mineral water.
The head of Gul Bahao giving a detailed description of the different innovations of Gul Bahao said that the latest one, the “Fuel Pack” has the potential of solving the city’s electricity problem. Pointing to a simple sketch she had before her she described how “Fuel Pack” could be used for producing steam in boilers which could be connected to turbines which again would be connected to generators to produce electricity. The advantage of the “Fuel Pack”, a form of thermal energy Nargis said was their easy availability and cost effectiveness as they are made from industrial waste. These “Fuel Packs” she said have a high burning quality minus toxic fumes.
In the detailed program lasting 40 minutes the head of Gul Bahao also talked about the Chandi Ghar and the Mobile Toilet. This again she said was a unique innovation. Talking about mobile toilet she said it has:
- Complete privacy
- Cleanliness unlike the public toilets
- Sheer convenience – it is foldable
It is simply a Frigidaire box covered inside and outside with Panaflex. Its underlying principle is that human filth is food for plants and trees and hence it is best that people relieve themselves in unpaved land so that there is fewer burdens on the sewage system.
Nargis Latif said that her innovations are devised to revive the economy of the city. These include the Safai/Kamai bank and the Chandi Ghar or alternative housing
The compere of the program asked Nargis Latif why her innovations are not known to the people. “Is the media to blame?” She asked. To this Nargis Latif replied that the trend is to show negative things happening in the society but that is not news because that is what is happening all the time. Real news she said is to extricate the good and the positive even if it is small or far away.