On September 8, 2010, CSAS hosted a teach-in/fundraiser for Pakistan flood victims entitled: ‘Floods, Chaos, and the Limits of Compassion’.
On Wednesday, September 8 2010, a teach-in and fundraiser was held at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa to raise awareness on the floods in parts of Pakistan and its aftermath in the region. The event, sponsored by the Center for South Asian Studies, taught participants about the affected area, and showed how they could to contribute to the aid process by donating money to reputed international organizations doing relief work in Pakistan.
“There are not a whole lot of ways people know how to donate money or even (know) what’s going on,” said Rohan Kalyan, graduate student in the Political Science department. Kalyan helped to organize the event in his capacity as Program Coordinator for CSAS. The event was held in Kuykendall Hall on Wednesday afternoon with an attendence of over fifty students, faculty and community members.
“The purpose of a teach-in is to disseminate information,” said Kalyan. “And to present things in a way that will attract attention and motivate people to help.”
The three panelists were Uzma Aslam Khan, assistant professor of English, Dr. Shabbir Cheema, senior research fellow at East-West Center, and Syed Sami Raza, a political science Ph.D. candidate at UHM.
Recent reports show 1,700 people have died and nearly 20 million have been affected. The United States has recently deployed aid to the area and has pledged $260 million in relief efforts.
“The war on terror has filtered the way people are reacting,” Kalyan said. “Politics have filtered the way people are reacting and it has overridden the humanitarian aspect of this tragedy” The floods were caused by ferocious monsoon rains in the north of the country that continue to leave people without homes, no access to food and water, and exposed to a number of health dangers. One-fifth of Pakistan has been flooded.
The teach-in was co-sponsored by the Muslim Students Association and the Lovers of South Asian Cultures club.