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JZT: A factroy of Social Entrepreneurs



Imagine yourself in a situation when it is 3 am of a chilling cold winter night of December in Lahore, layers of fog prevailing all around making everything invisible and on the deserted roads of the city, two adolescents of about 22 years age are but trying to hurry up to a hospital and unluckily their motorbike has also got punctured and all they could do is drag the vehicle with them and, indifferent to the intensity of the weather, keep briskly walking  towards their destination which still is quite 4-5 KM away.

This is one of the many illustrious glimpses of the selfless, passionate and unprecedented dedication which JZT (Jehaad For Zero Thalassemia) office-bearers are teemed with. One of the two lads Mr. Khan Muhammed was in charge of emergency blood donation in Lahore and the other was a voluntary blood donor. Someone waiting for them in hospital was not any of their blood relatives neither were these two to each other. The one waiting at hospital was a helpless, stranger from a far-off area of south Punjab and Khan Muhammed had recently got a call to donate blood for their dying kid and these two had somehow identified that the boy who was willing to donate needed to be picked to the place and the other, who had actually got the call, went on to help him reach the point of mercy.

JZT has evolved to be the most unique set up of its type in the whole world which, right from its founding by a third semester student Mr. Ghulam Dastgir, is growing rapidly and is being run by office bearers who are students from various prestigious colleges and universities. A mission launched by just one man has now impacted more than 100 cities and almost as many colleges and universities of all the provinces and the journey is still on.

Just 6 years in age, JZT has already done momentous job in helping more than 20,000 blood emergency cases, about 1000 thalassemia major patients and adopting about 500 thalassemic kids. The VISION 2016 as established in 2012 is programmed to meet its objectives soon and JZT team from all over the country is all set to make sure that not even a single thalassemia major patient be born in Pakistan after 2016. All energies are being invested to make it happen.

What carries more significance is the infrastructure knit by its founder along with a team of leaders who plan strategy for whole country. The way JZT’s hierarchy has been organized with a professional fabric from its national level to the union council level committees is one grand area to be researched about. More focus has been laid on making this work for humanity more memorable and entertaining and this has been stringently substantiated by the formation of various departments which not only keep the thalassemic kids entertained and the social work boosted but also provide chance for JZT workers to hone their innate skills and creativity. The way its departments have been named speaks volumes of the creativity of the JZT leadership. “Each One Ease One” is the department that deals in adopting thalassemic kids on one-on-one formula. ICU is the Intensive Care Unit to deal with any blood emergency anywhere. TIP is the Teachers’ Induction Program to motivate teachers to assist this initiative of students. JZTickX is yet the department covering all major happenings everywhere. IVA is the Inter-Varsity Affairs unit that provides liaison between all the chapters. All the designing and graphics are managed by the team itself. JZT, by now, has become an enterprise which would provide all stages to promote transformational leadership and would allow its workers to participate in activities which may make them better organized social workers than just volunteers. Even the funCART department brings forth the best ever plays and mimes, involving thalassemic kids as actors, and proving a channel where JZT workers learn to polish their own communication skills and public talking acumen.

Then there are lucrative awards and honors conferred to the office bearers who put in extraordinary effort to make humanity win.

The expanse of huge events organized annually for the get-together of JZT workers from all over the country have been named VOLCON [VOLunteers’ CONvention]. VOLCON poses yet another window where the climax of creativity can be witnessed along with a chance of interaction for all volunteers who then take away the motivation to implement in their respective regions. JZT team so far has organized numerous such VOLCONs along with national level marathons for this cause.
More fulfilling is the fact that most of the funding needed for the promotion of this cause comes from the pockets of its own volunteers, even those who have now graduated from their respective chapters. This is what has been nurturing this cause. This highlights the legacy in a more commendable way.
Talking about the stereotypes JZT team has combated with so far; they are numerous. JZT team did not submit to the resistance from some militant groups when they started to spread this message in FATA. They utilized all their intelligence and otherwise resources to call a Jirga to motivate the chieftains to support this initiative. Universities in Karachi did not agree to JZT owing to its name “Jehaad”. Many non-Muslim volunteers stepped up to support this word “Jehaad” as the purest form of struggle for the betterment of the community. Even some political agitators tried to harass our workers for being associated with JZT but they still kept on helping the sufferers so much so that some blood donation camps were even arranged on footpaths and public grounds to facilitate thalassemia patients.  JZT in KPK is majorly being led by Yumna Sardar, who has proved through her extraordinary managerial skills that a region presumably supposed to be unfit for girls to be working for such humanitarian cause can be turned into a place where girls may take to leading positions for such a dynamic cause. JZT has even managed to bring its volunteers together on cultural grounds by promoting more and more cultural artifices and performances on annual get-togethers and by promoting multi-lingual video messages through social media. This has immensely helped in connecting diverse nations to come to one platform and has been key contributor in team’s harmony and goodwill. JZT office bearers hailing from the far-off areas of Gilgit Baltistan have to travel for hours to be able to meet each other and plan activities for the community service and they take pride in such self-assigned tasks. Areas of lower Punjab and rural Sindh where people are governed more by illiteracy and subsequent traditional customs, awareness campaigns like JZT become yet more big a challenge and threat than just a rewarding social work cause. JZT office bearers have diligently helped themselves in helping the community against all such challenges. The remote areas of Baluchistan like Ziarat, Dera Bugti and Zhob, JZTeers have struggled very hard to convince the locals that their belief about Thalassemia being linked to sorcery or stuff was just an illusion and that their kids deserved proper care to live after provision of blood for them. Representatives from almost all the religions have also stood in support of this Jehaad esp. Sir Gur Charn Singh representing the Sikh Community, Manish Kumar representing the Hindus and many others take pride in being associated to this cause.

The role played by teachers can never be alienated from the growth matrix of JZT.  An MPhil Thesis submitted and graded recently at Lahore College for Women University by Ghadhia Cheema on the topic of “JZT as a social enterprise and need of premarital testing” is in itself a gigantic example of the apex JZT has touched as a social work enterprise.

JZT is an open book. It is now the fastest growing network of volunteers and social entrepreneurs all over Pakistan which is currently operating in KPK, Sindh, Baluchistan, Punjab, Azad Kashmir, Giglit Baltistan, FATA with equal zeal. JZT team believes that every Pakistani must support our cause to make sure that thalassemia is kicked out of our homeland for good.

Last but not the least is the trend JZT has introduced to promote the concept of “Backup Leadership”. At every level of hierarchy, 12 people are marked as officers who are self-complementing in terms of duties and capabilities. Starting from the national executive council to the lowest level of organization, all office-bearers ensure that individuals are groomed parallel to be able to look after the cause in the absence of their prime leader. This will surely ensure someday that programs as huge as JZT do not stop due to absence of individuals. This is helping in making the system more strong than the individuals.

Working with JZT is highly enriching and wonderfully entertaining. JZT is far more than just a student club or society. It is in fact a movement. It is a campaign. IT is a platform where anyone can contribute his/her part quite freely and proudly. IT has also been observed quite a times that a mention about JZT on our officers’ CVs has helped them in getting confirmed jobs. This is more rewarding financially than anything else.

Written by Shumaila Jamshed

Times of Youth is an International Youth Magazine read by the youth of more than 82 countries. Times of Youth brings the latest Youth Opportunities, News, Interviews, Fully Funded Scholarships, Paid Internships, Future Stars, Rising Stars, etc. For further details you can email us at: [email protected]

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“Everyone in Pakistan is so friendly” -Jeremy McLellan



Biryani-loving comedian Jeremy McLellan is finally in Pakistan

McLellan is known for often writing about his love for biryani and his humourous commentary on American politics, immigration, Islamophobia and race. His understanding of Islam, diversity of Muslims and Pakistani culture has made him popular among Pakistanis and it’s not uncommon to see a myriad of comments from Muslims and Pakistanis on his Facebook status updates.

Jeremy Facebook Status Updates From Pakistan

Everyone in Pakistan is so friendly. If I accepted every offer I’ve received to come to people’s houses for dinner or tea I would be here for 10 years and gain 1,000 pounds.
Power keeps going out. Not a big deal for me, but whoever fixes the electrical grid would improve things by a lot.
I’m used to having a lot of personal space. Not much of that here. Takes a while to get used to. Thankfully it’s all friendly.
Weather is nice, especially on rooftops. Felt like Charleston. Way better than Dubai.
Dinner at Haveli was amazing, and the view of the Badshahi mosque took my breath away.
Finally got to see my reporter friend Usman from Pakistan Today who wrote the first articles about me in Pakistan. Great guy.
Jet lag made me sleep in too much. Hope to see more tomorrow. So far I love it.

“After two years of planning, two weeks of very little sleep, and two days of travel, I have now officially landed in Pakistan. What a blessed and fortunate life I have. Thank you to everyone. My body is tired but my heart is full.”

Dinner at Haveli Restaurant overlooking the Badshahi mosque.

Hanging out at Emporium in Lahore!

Jeremy McLellan Official Facebook Page

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Beat the Heat – tips and tricks to cool it this summer!



The cold winter months may come with its own set of headaches, but summer is no less. It’s a constant battle towards hydration, layered with the right portion of sun-block, all of this while trying to keep cool, mentally and physically.

Reports of increasing global warming make it seem that every summer the temperature is and would be getting harder to endure. Thus, as a medico and concerned citizen, I had to finally compile a list of DIY’s and other simple, efficient ways to keep one cool and happy during this hot season.

  1. Be Hydrated. As you lose water by perspiration, your body temperature rises. Replacing fluids is hence essential to keep the body cool. To replace the water that you lose by sweating, be sure to drink a lot of fluids, especially water and cool fruit juices. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine, or lots of sugar, which are dehydrating. Also opt for hydrating foods like a smoothie for lunch, and add more fresh fruits and vegetables to all your meals. Watermelon has the greatest water content as compared to all other foods.

  2. Eat light. The reason we reach for salads in the summer is owing to their easier digestibility than, say, a cheese pizza or lardaceous burgers, which leaves you feeling sluggish in the high heat. Instead, go for fruits and vegetables, which are water-rich and help keep you hydrated and cooler. You could also freeze tiny slices of your favorite fruits in ice cube trays with a little water and add to your regular glass of water later for mildly flavored water or simply suck on them for the cooling effect.

  3. Apply cold water. In order to lower body temperature by lowering the blood temperature in the veins directly, apply a bottle with ice-cold water on pulsation points like your ankles, wrists, or behind the knees.

  4. Breathe like Yogis. Feeling overheated again with no cold water around? No problem. Do a few minutes of yogic breathing by curling your tongue by pulling both side edges upward toward the middle forming an O, then breathe in through your mouth. Hold your breath, and slowly exhale through your nose. Repeat five to 10 times. This age old technique should help cool you naturally.

  5. Cool that Sheet. Put soft gel ice packs on top of the mattress and underneath the sheets; try under your legs, neck, or lower back for maximum comfort. You could also try freezing a cotton sock filled with rice, then slipping it between the sheets. The rice will hold a chill longer due to its starch content. Or just simply chill your bed by folding sheets and pillowcases, placing them in plastic bags, and sticking them in the freezer for a few hours to make up the bed just before you go to sleep for a sound slumber.

  6. DIY Air Cooler. Freeze a couple of water bottles or even a shallow bowl filled with ice and place in front of a floor or desk fan, and enjoy a pleasing breeze when the ice melts and evaporates with your makeshift air-conditioner/cooler. Adding salt to the water before freezing can beat the heat for longer period.

  7. Hello Aloe. Pick up an aloe vera plant from a local plant nursery and get some cut and peeled. Aloe vera gel has a cooling effect when applied on the sun burnt skin. After a long day under the sun it can naturally soothe sunburns without spoiling skin texture or any fear of side effects.

  8. Spice it up. If you’re already sweating, why would you want to sweat more? The answer lies in this explanation. Eating spicy food increases blood circulation and makes you sweat, so as the sweat dries, you’ll feel cooler and have some brief relief. The substance which produces the hot taste in chilies, capsaicin, encourages your body to sweat more without raising your body temperature. It is a tried and tested technique by people who have lived in scorching climates since ages!

  9. Put Up Sun Blockers. The air outside when dry and cooler than that inside, one can hang a damp sheet in an open window. Incoming air will be cooled by the evaporating water. Shutting curtains and blinds (ideally with sun-deflecting white surface on the window side) can reduce the amount of heat passing into your home by as much as 40-45 percent.

  10. Squirt, Spritz. Keep a spray bottle in the refrigerator, and whenever its hot. squirt some cool goodness. For ideal thermal regulation, try to begin with wrists to quickly cool down the blood flowing through their veins. Spraying on some watery mist over your bed-sheets and room walls would also seemingly bring down the temperature of the room immediately for a while. Take it from me, it is a wonderful experience!

  11. Fan it right. If the day’s heat is trapped inside your home, try a little ventilation at night. A window fan with blades facing outside sucks warm air out of the house and pulls cooler air in. Attaching frozen water bottles on the back of the fan will accentuate the coolness further.

  12. Dress right. Coolmax and Nano-Tex are not just for athletes anymore. Wear one of the widely available synthetic fabrics designed to wick away sweat and that sticky feeling. If cotton is preferred, it should be thin, light colored, and, most of all, loose. The best thing is to have sweat evaporate directly from skin to air, the next best thing is for the sweat to move quickly from your skin to clothing and then evaporate. Loose, billowy clothes allow air movement next to the skin and help with sweat evaporation, and thus cool the body.

13.Think Cool. Relax with A Winter’s Tale, The Call of the Wild, Doctor Zhivago, or Smilla’s Sense of Snow. Reading about cold can take your mind off the heat, evoking one’s own experience of ice and snow. Could say it is like a bit of self-hypnosis. Although this needs a little determination, but may be mastered by constancy.

Written by 
Dr. Aafreen Kotadiya

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‘Health is Wealth’ – Explained



As the old saying goes ‘health is wealth’, have you ever wondered why they say so? Mahatma Gandhi also says, “It is health which is real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver”. So basically, it means that there is nothing in our life that is more valuable than good health. Health is more valuable than money, as the latter can never buy healthiness and happiness. But a healthy person remains in a state of bliss despite of being poor. Without health there is no happiness, no peace and no success. A person with bad health cannot enjoy the pleasure of being wealthy.

By health we do not mean the absence of physical troubles only. WHO defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Thus, a healthy person is completely free from any illness or injury. A person with sound health enjoys a stability that also includes a healthy mental condition. Our health depends upon several factors, such as food habits, hygiene, fetishes, pollution, sleeping habits, mental condition, air, water, sunlight etc. Some of them are elaborated further below.

Importance of light, air and water: Fresh air and sunlight are very important for our health. Brisk morning walks are very helpful for the fitness of our mind and body. Breathing the fresh air each morning rejuvenates the mind and soul and surmounts the energy that one would need to keep going throughout the day. Sunlight helps our body to produce vitamin-D. A dirty and damp atmosphere breeds a lot of diseases. Fresh and pure drinking water is also necessary for good health. Impure drinking water causes many ailments. So, we must take care of these things.

Food:  Good food, too, is essential for the body. A healthy fiber-filled breakfast each morning is imperative for a good start of the day. Fiber rich foods such as oats, whole grain wheat, bran rice, etc. help us improve our digestive system. Nutritious foods helps us to maintain good health. We all should know, how, when and what to eat.
We should always include a portion of green vegetables, fresh fruits or salads with minimal dressing in our meal. All of these are sources of vital macro and micro nutrients. A balanced and nutritious diet helps the proper growth of the body. But we must remember that we eat to live and not that we live to eat.

Physical exercise and sports: We all know the proverb, “A sound mind in a sound body”. In order to keep the body healthy, we need to keep the mind sound. Physical exercises keep us fit. There are varous kinds of physical exercises. We may walk a kilometer or two every day. We may take some yogic or aerobic exercises or even zumba, dancing and swimming. At the same, games and sports are very useful for health.

Cleanliness: Cleanliness is crucial for good health. Without cleanliness, it is very difficult to maintain fitness. We should clean our house and the surrounding areas every day. Alhough bathing  should ideally be twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, yet once atleast is mandatory. After eating food, we should clean our hands with soap. Various types of diseases erupts from unclean surroundings. We should always throw the garbage in the dustbin. Cleanliness is the key to great health.

Some rules of hygiene: We must know some simple rules of hygiene. Our house must be airy and sunny. Apart from all this, we must form good habits. We should keep ourselves free from  unwanted cares and anxieties. Early rising and early to bed is equally necessary for good health. So we must try to keep fit.

We should take proper care of our health so that we can enjoy our life completely because when we are ill, we do not want to play or work. Our bad health robs us of our daily efficiency, sound sleep and appetite. Life becomes a burden if one  is constantly ailing. Life is left with little charm then. He feels tired of life, always bickering about one thing or the other. On the other hand, one with good health enjoys his life. A healthy person is mindful of all food he eats and enjoys sound sleep.  A healthy person is able enough to sing the glory of life and works hard to realize his dreams. He is cheerful and hardly complains. He may be poor, with limited income and may have to work very hard to earn a living, but even the richest man if ill would envy him for his good health and cheerfulness. A  person with sound health can lead a happy and enjoyable life. A rich person can afford various luxuries of life such as a costly car, posh house, branded accessories, air-conditioners, good furniture, trendy clothes, delicacy foods etc. But, he can enjoy these luxuries only if his health is good. Health is, thus, definitely much more important than wealth. Health is a greatest treasure and  the highest blessing.

Let us plan now to cherish the health we are blessed with, and try to give this gift to all we know so they, too, would enjoy the wonders of this life while being grateful.

Written by Dr. Aafreen Kotadiya

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