Welcome to Karachi – here are your drops…

This is a great example of how the world is working to become polio-free and counteracting the reputation of city that has one of the worst in the world.

Karachi is a town of 22 million (I didn’t count them all but that is the vibe of most) in the permanently hot reaches of Southern Pakistan. In parts it is a bit lawless and like any big city has its realm of problems.

In this tangled mess of what seemed to be organised chaos I was very fortunate to see and meet a lot of the positive features and people in Karachi. There are places tall skinny white people should not go so I didn’t and then you have the rest of the majority of the city which was a welcoming, ‘hot’spitable (meaning hot temperature and in hospitality – actually it sounds more like hot spit but anyway…) and dynamic place.

I was extremely fortunate to have been adopted by a number of people for my time in Karachi as I have written about in previous posts but I must send a quick shout out to Tahira and her household who received a call after my arrival saying we have a guy here from Australia who needs a place to stay for a week and we’ve chosen you! Luckily for Tahira and I it worked out to be a beautiful culture exchange and very productive for social justice and polio advocacy and awareness – a great team! And she fed me like my own mother!

One specific experience I had in Karachi was to visit the entry point into the city. Here there is a big arch and sign saying welcome to Karachi. They then stop all vehicles for a military check but also for the past while people are also greeted by teams of polio vaccinators who generally focus on the busses.

As each bus pulls up for their security check pairs of vaccinators jump on the bus and ask to see children under the age of five and see of they have a ‘Purple Pinkie’ – indicating they have received a polio vaccine in the past 7 days. If not they then offer the vaccine for that child, free of cost, administer and give them a ‘Purple Pinkie’ to show they are now free from the crippling disease of polio and push the world a little closer to be eradicated of the second human disease in history! Cool eh!

They folks go 24/7 and have seen the outbreak stop as is possible in the slum communities of Karachi and also in the areas where the people are coming to Karachi or returning after their visit.

These guys jump on and off buses all day (and night) giving vaccines and purple pinkies for those vaccinated

For the rest of the overview of Karachi just have a look at the pictures! Watch your back a little in this town but also know the majority of the folks here are wonderful, hospitable and friendly as we are in any place in the world!

Thank you Karachi and the people of Karachi!

Not sure what the connection is here between the fish & bikes but the bikes look like they have been used for fishing!

The best bit of Karachi and very rare for Pakistani people to have contact with the ocean… pollution makes the best sunsets!

A wonderful street of new restaurants in Karachi right on the ocean. Great food and beautiful in the perfect Karachi evenings!

Went to a wedding where we were segregated into males and females behind curtains, ate and then left! Not quite the cultural highlight I was expecting – but great food!

 

Great visit with the people of Karachi and better Sunday than Monday when there was bombing at one of the gates. Beautiful place where the Karachites hang out on the weekend

The founders of independence for Pakistan and India from British rule

Another shot of the vaccinators working the busses

 

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About lunny06

Experiences are the richest thing in life. Love them and live them.
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8 Responses to Welcome to Karachi – here are your drops…

  1. Hi d’Arcy,
    Great to see and read about your good time in Karachi.
    Just for record, the bomb at one of the gates of Mausoleum was diffused by Police before it could cause any damage…. http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=74367

    • lunny06 says:

      Goof to hear and I never once felt threatened anywhere or at anytime in Karachi – but I did have wonderful people looking after me! Having said that I did do a lot of walking around the place by myself in Clifton and Defence and no worries there…

  2. Tahira says:

    Do drop by again hoping that the next time will not be about giving ‘two drops for polio’.Glad you liked the sun,sand, and the sea in Karachi.There is a lot more to here for when you come again.I was so happy to host you!weddings are alot more fun than the one we went to sorry about that.My patio looks so exotic in the your photo…….till the next time.

    • lunny06 says:

      Wonderful comments, thank you Tahira! It was an interesting wedding felt like quite the cultural experience. I too hope we will no longer be giving welcomes and farewlls from Karachi with two drops and being at a polio workshop today and the next two days I am positive we will make it happen!

  3. edgarrovdyr says:

    Sorry, I din’t understand what did you mean saying “pollution makes the best sunsets”? The beaches are deserted because of pollution? Or something else?

    • lunny06 says:

      Sorry mate. My reference to this is that in an heavily polluted city or any very polluted day sunsets in the pollution haze are usually very nice – the way the low sunrays catch the pollution and the burnt orange haze that appears. I like where your thinking took you though! Cheers, d’Arcy.

      • edgarrovdyr says:

        Well, now it’s clear for me. Optical effect. And what are the sources of pollution? Large intensive industry?

  4. lunny06 says:

    Just big cities… pollution from energy production, industry, cars, etc… Just like in most cities of million people and more.

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