Nur Village

Following on from the emergency relief effort that Midland Doctors undertook in the immediate aftermath of the 2010 Pakistan Floods, attention turned towards more medium and long term projects for those who had been affected by the disaster.
With robust and safe housing being a key factor in giving families a stable base from which to live and grow, providing a housing scheme for some of those who had lost their homes in the floods was clearly something worth pursuing.
So Midland Doctors began looking for a plot of land on which this next step in assistance and capacity building could be implemented. The story of what followed is summarised below.
Sep 2010 : After viewing a number of plots in various locations, the Midland Doctors felt that the most viable locations was an area close to Gujjo City, approximtely 80km east of Karachi and, after negotiations, approximately 8acres of land was purchased there.
Meanwhile, a lot of effort was being put into planning out the housing scheme which crystallised around a plan for 100 houses, wtih each home being built on an area of approximately 167m2 (of which 46m2 was constructed area) and comprising 2 rooms, 2 bathrooms, a Kitchen, Grain Store, Cattle Pen, Veranda and access to fresh clean water.
The village itself was organised in a spacious manner, ensuring that key facilities such as a medical centre, school, community centre and mosque were present, as well as infrastructure such as electricity, clean water, sewerage and solar power electricity generation. Over 4500 trees were also planted around the plot to provide a green eco-friendly boundary.
The school was a key part of the project and one of the key measures of success for the Village will be when residents are able to sustain themselves and purchase their own properties outside the Village. The best hope for this will be for today’s Village children to be the Doctors, Nurses and Teachers of tomorrow. And for that to happen, the children need to have access to education.
Each of the 100 homes cost Rs 555,000 (~£4,000), totalling Rs 55,500,000 (~£400,000), with estimated costs for the other aspects of the village being as follows:
School and Play Ground: Rs 3,900,000 (~£30,000)
Clinic and Maternity Centre: Rs 1,875,000 (~£14,400)
Womens Training Centre: Rs 1,340,000 (~£10,300)
Community Centre: Rs 1,340,000 (~£10,300)
Mosque: Rs 850,000 (~£6,500)
Well, Tower, Pipes: Rs 1,465,000 (~£11,300)
Sewage System: Rs 900,000 (~£6,900)
Paths, Roads etc: Rs 3,800,000 (~£29,300)
May 2011 : The Midland Doctors team visits the plot for the village on the 1st May 2011. Construction is due to begin the following day.
May 2011 to Dec 2012 : During these 20 months, the building work was undertaken. As with other Midland Doctors projects, care was taken to use donors money wisely and efficiently, aiming to product the maximum effect for each pound donated. At the same time, there was also a strong focus on ensuring that the homes were of a high standard and earthquake resistant. In addition, the entire site was raised by 2 feet to improve its resiliance to flooding in the future. The Pakistan Medical Association were also partners in the project, and handled the on-site project management. In additon, the project was also very honoured by a donation of £105,000 from the Edhi Foundation, who came on board with the project following a viewing of the buildings under construction.
Site Project Manager Dr Shoaib highlights the allocation process of the houses. “A social worker was employed who carried out a detailed survey of the surrounding areas and after an extensive review process around 100 families were selected to be most deserving. It was emotionally very difficult to choose the most deserving ones amongst the desperately poor families.”
The naming of the village : This email from Dr Javed Ahmed tells the story of how the village was given the name “Nur Goth” (literally “Place of Light”)
“I write this email with mixed emotions of joy, Gratitude, pride and happiness.
The first glimpse of Nur Goth was a very emotional and surreal experience. This village has been named after my beloved daughter Nur who we sadly lost following a heart operation on 19th July 2012. We were very touched and honoured when Dr Iftikhar announced that Midland Doctors and PMA had decided to name this village to honour the memory of our daughter. Nur was a truly blessed soul who always had a smile on her face, and had the ability to brighten up the most darkest and bleakest hour through her smile. She had the enormous ability to carry on in the face of worse adversity. Nur symbolised hope and Light.
It was very heart-warming to see families already settling into their new homes. I could see smoke coming out of the kitchens and children running around in their new homes with their very own boundary wall and a proper gate. It is likely that for the first time in their lives, these families have experienced the luxury of running water in taps , attached bathrooms, electric fans and light bulbs.
Dr Javed Ahmed
Consultant Surgeon and father of our beloved Nur
Dec 2012 : This week, the team at Midland Doctors oversaw an historic milestone – the inauguration of the Nur Goth Village project in Pakistan; built and supported by Midland Doctors, the PMA and the Edhi Foundation.
The creation of a village and community was born in response to the devastating 2010 floods, which destroyed many lives of men, women and children – in particular the poor and vulnerable who could afford it least. Now, thanks to our generous Midland Doctors supporters, the village has been released to 100 poor families who will benefit from housing, solar power and amenities such as a medical centre and schooling.
The inauguration’s guest of honour was Mr Abdul Sattar Edhi – philanthropist who is best known for humanitarian work throughout Pakistan. The Edhi Foundation runs the world’s largest ambulance service and operates free nursing homes, orphanages, clinics, women’s shelters, and rehab centres for drug addicts and mentally ill individuals.
Dr Javed (Midland Doctors Vice Chair) gave his perspective on the Village, “It was very heart-warming to see families already settled into their new homes. I could see smoke coming out of the kitchens and children running around in their new homes. They probably for the first time in their lives experienced the luxury of running water in taps, attached bathrooms, electric fans and light bulbs (powered by Solar Panels).
Dr Shoaib (Nur Goth Village Project Manager) shared his thoughts, “Seeing the school full of children is so heartening to see. I hope all the donors see how they have impacted so many families and how their support will endure for many years as these children get an opportunity that would not have been even conceivable 2 years ago. Theirs is the future.”
The final words of thanks must go to the dedication of Dr Shoaib. The last fifteen months of his life were completely devoted to the construction of Nur Goth. It has been a true Labour of love for him. No construction company was involved. There was no compromise on quality; there were no short cuts. Between looking after his own business and family commitments he managed to Travel between Karachi and Gujju several times a week (sometimes twice a day). We all thank you!
“We are very happy here particularly because we are able to educate our children here”
“Education is essential to improve our lives and is the only way to eliminate poverty”

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