May the peace of God almighty be upon you! I hope this letter of mine finds you in the best of health and spirits. In the first place please accept my heartfelt gratitude for helping in promoting the cause of Gul Bahao through your esteemed TV channel before assuming your latest responsibilities at the United Nations. This letter is in fact an appeal to you to use your good offices to further the cause of this movement, one of whose objectives is conducting research into waste management. The results have been fantastic to say the least and must be shared with the international community considering that we as Muslims and Pakistanis are duty bound to share our knowledge for the good of mankind. Sir, let me pause here and recall how it became possible for Gul Bahao to come up with its two classic innovations-the Chandi Ghar and the Safai/Kamai Bank (known as Garbage N Gold Bank). As you are aware research demands money and a great deal of it for that matter. To date more than 8crore rupees have been spent (only in 2002,1 crore and ten lacs were spent according to audited accounts). This was the time when for an entire decade the world thanks to the aggressive policies 0f Mr. Bush and company was embroiled in the deadliest war of the world. As if to create a soft corner for this war millions and trillions of dollars poured into our country especially Karachi. Certainly, getting hold of the money was no joke, but the fact remains that it came and was wisely used by us for:
- A socioeconomic revival
- Controlling environmental degradation while allowing industrialization to flourish
- To attract the educated youth towards research activities.
No doubt Gul Bahaos innovations have been getting coverage in the press but the approach at best has been superficial. Both the Chandi Ghar and the Safai/Kamai Bank are totally in sync with 21st century requirements. In fact most of the material used in the Chandi Ghar is high tech material. Let me describe to you the “Kutchra do Sona Lo” campaign. For two years a fleet of vehicles including trucks and pickup vans carrying young men were meeting junk dealers and motivating them to trade in garbage by giving them cash and gold. So successful was the campaign that it brought into existence a new breed of businessmen who started providing cheap raw material to industries and despite the endemic violence that keeps taking place in Karachi its economy keeps growing. The impact of the Safai mein Kamai system can be gauged from the fact that its slogan “You give us garbage, we give you gold” is a household slogan in this metropolis of more than 15 million people .The Safai mein Kamai Bank is truly the bank of the future where the instruments of banking is waste material. It is difficult to say which of the two innovations Chandi Ghar or the Garbage N Gold Bank is going to have a greater impact on the international scene. Briefly the Chandi Ghar is a modular block whose uses are multipurpose. The same blocks may be used to make a double storied houses to making a swimming pool, furniture including chairs sofas, tables etc. They are waterproof as well as strong enough to resist storms and gales. They are easy to put up and dismantle as well. As the name suggests they are splendid to look at. Sir, recent history tells us that a single innovation has been able to change the course of history, take the example of the steam engine, the computer and now the mobile phone. I am confident that Gul Bahaos innovations are going to do just that.
It may come as a pleasant surprise to you that there has been widespread recognition of our innovations. These include:
1. German nationals connected with the German embassy
2. Clinton Foundation and Ashoka (American NGO)
3. Articles written in Courier International (French) ,Hindustan Times (India)
4. Supreme Court of India
5. UNDP, UNESCO, World Bank
6. BBC CNN ZeeTV StarPlus
7. Included as a scientific organization in the directory of the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology. It has been covered by the mainstream print and electronic media of Pakistan
8. Have been written about in school level textbooks in both Urdu and English
9. 600 people visit our website on a monthly basis
10. Local bodies (including Nazims and Civil Servants) coming for training
11. University Students doing theses and assignments on our work
No doubt most of the gigantic work mentioned above can be claimed by me and my organization but it would be unfair not to mention hundreds of people throughout the length and breadth of Karachi who gave moral and material support especially the latter. These include:
1. Professionals like architects, engineers, teachers, lecturers, professors
3. Businessmen (including office bearers of Chambers of Commerce and Industry)
4. MPAS and provincial ministers
5. Universities, elite schools
6. Women who give zakat once a year.
In addition to this and the fact that Karachi has a peculiar geography(especially its arid climate ) has made the program truly unique and hence the slogan “Karachi’s gift to the world” Why use the word Karachi when people from outside Karachi as well as Pakistanis living abroad have supported it Answer one must not forget the fact that Karachi is one of the largest metropolises of the world and hence any innovation coming from here is bound to affect the world. At this stage when the country is going through a rough spell and people’s morale is at low ebb it is particularly important that the above slogan be raised. If these two innovations are publicized on the world forum they are sure to renew the country’s self-esteem and confidence. February 1 will the day when Gul Bahao will be completing 18 years of its existence. In other words it has taken a full 18 years for these innovations to develop and mature. And before I forget there have been claims by other organizations and persons to own these innovations. They have not been patented by us.
Sir, you have been putting your best efforts to project Pakistan’s case abroad. God willing you will also succeed in projecting Karachi’s gift to the World as well.”
With Best Wishes I end with the prayer “May the blessings of the almighty shower down on you”
An Open Letter to Mr. Hussain A. Haroon Pakistan’s Representative in the United Nations