KARACHI, March 15: The Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) under its poverty alleviation and social responsibility pursuits has joined hands with an NGO working for the distribution and maintenance of solar lamps among the people of remote areas of Sindh. The lamps will be the environment-friendly alternative to the hazardous kerosene lanterns being used in such areas.
Briefing the media on the project on Monday, DUHS Vice-Chancellor Prof Masood Hameed Khan said that the university had entered into an agreement with an NGO, Pehli Kiran, on raising funds for the project under which more than 1,000 dwellings in the surrounding areas of Sehwan Sharif would be provided with solar lamps. He said the area did not have electricity and its inhabitants had been relying on kerosene lanterns, use of which was not only costly but also hazardous and dangerous, besides being a cause of environmental degradation.
Prof Khan said that under this social project, the DUHS would help stakeholders get some tax exemption for the solar lamps being produced in the Karachi Export Processing Zone and meant for the remote areas of the province.
He said that besides arranging philanthropic contribution for the project, the DUHS would hold medical camps for the residents of the areas covered under the project and also ensure marketing of the handicrafts produced by the womenfolk of the areas.
In reply to a question, the vice-chancellor said that the solar lamps meant for the benefit of the masses were being allowed to be brought out of a factory in the EPZ in a limited number on the university’s initiative. He said that the particular batches of the lamp would have no commercial value as the local sale or marketing of the item would be forbidden. He said that Dr Syed Mehdi Raza, the custodian of Sehwan Sharif shrine, would facilitate identification of the deserving people.
Prof Khan told the media that his institution, in addition to producing quality medical graduates and researchers, was also paying attention to the community services through its social responsibility department, which had already trained around 80 dependents of the university employees in computers.
Ayaz Mahmood, a representative of the technology firm associated with the project, also spoke.