Jhelum finds caretakers in a group of students


JHELUM: A group of students in Jhelum have taken it upon themselves to work for the social welfare of the people of the city.

An organisation by the name Caretakers Jhelum, which was formed earlier this year in May, is making significant strides in solving problems of the citizens.

Asfandyar Asad who is the founder of the organization said that he was inspired by a group of students from Islamabad who used to package leftover food from different restaurants and distribute it among the poor in the capital.

“We thought that if they can take such a low-cost initiative, why can’t we do the same,” Asad said while talking to Pakistan Today over the phone. The idea of such an organisation was spread via a Facebook post, and in no time a community by the name ‘Caretakers Jhelum’, consisting of over 150 students, was formed.

Basing their organisation on the slogan of ‘clean and green Jhelum’, Asad and other volunteers joined hands to collect garbage from the city’s busiest roads. “We wanted to make sure that we made cleanliness the standard,” he said.

Aged 21, Asad is a student of BBA at Virtual University while the other members of the organisation are also students. Asad said that Caretakers Jhelum will remain completely non-political. “People don’t trust politicians, and therefore, if we muddle ourselves in politics we may end up losing our reputation and the trust we have built.

The organisation has since worked to renovate a water filtration plant, maintained the main roads of the city, distributing clothes and food packages in the city.

Asad sees his organisation as a pressure group that highlights the issues of the public through protests. “If 150 people protest on the roads of a small city, it creates pressure on the administration,” he said.

In the month of Ramzan, Caretakers Jhelum was able to distribute 600 packages of food to the deserving, a feat that gave the organization encouragement. Moving forward, Asad is optimistic that his organisation will involve more students from the city in the future and find a direction for their own organisation. “Sustaining this good work is the key, and we can’t do so without involving more people in our organisation,” he said.