Nation special report
LONDON: At a crucial time when literacy rate in Pakistan is 58 percent with declining mod and the number of children out of schools has crossed the figure of 20.28 million, the pivotal role and realisation of their responsibilities by the charity organisations and philanthropists have increased many folds.
Though, the government claims doing every possible effort for enhancing educational facilities but according to observers, infact government is showing no seriousness in the field of education, just increasing the weight of school bags and nothing else. Irony is that, education budget is also reduced in federal budget.
Pakistan has grappled with many problems. The rapidly growing population is one of them, which has put a heavy burden on its resources. Currently, Pakistan is the fifth most populous country in the world with around 217 million people and a population growth rate of 2.4 per cent per year. Its population was 33 million in 1950 and its rank was 14th in the world, but now it has alarmingly increased.
After China, India, the USA, and Indonesia, among others, Pakistan is now the 11th most populous country of the world. In terms of area, Pakistan is 34th and in terms of the Human Development Index, it has 147th position in the world. Its population growth rate is the highest at around 1.90 per cent. Each family in Pakistan on an average has 3.1 children.
In this alarming scenario, the higher education is merely a dream for the interested students and here come the charity institutions and philanthropists. Bestway Foundation is one of those welfare institutions which are engaged in marvellous activities to boost the facilities in the fields of education, health and charity.
As of June 2018, the Bestway Foundation UK has provided £4.25 million in scholarships and grants sofar. Since 1987, in the UK, the Foundation has issued scholarships to over 500 students of South Asian origin to attend universities in the UK, Europe and North America. The recipient institutions are including University of Oxford, University of Bradford, University of Kent, London School of Economics University of London, University of Strathclyde, Kings College London, City University London, Queen Mary University of London, Imperial College University of London and University of Nottingham.
The Foundation releases 12 scholarships every year and the lucky recipients are enrolled in three universities in Britain. A reception to extend congratulation and appreciation to their achievement was hosted by the Foundation at the head office of Bestway Group on Tuesday (July 23). A number of distinguished guests from all walks of life were also present at the event who while expressing their views paid gratitude to Bestway Group for their noble cause.
These students belong to various institutions and different parts of Pakistan representing all provinces. They categorically stated that they were chosen for the scholarship only on the basis of merit and no influence whatsoever was exercised.
Sir Anwar Pervez, Chairman, Bestway Group, was personally curious in knowing if any influence or recommendation was applied but got the answer in negative from all 12 students. They briefly narrated the process of availing the scholarship and their future plans. The students including Saleem Naveed, Anam, Huma, Aliya, Sahowel, Danish, Idrees, Mohammad and Sonal were highly thankful to the Foundation for providing them this unique and valued opportunity to make their career.
Prominent guests Barrister Iftikhar Ahmed,Abdullah Yousuf (former Chairman, FBR), Syed Qamar Raza, Muzaffar Choudhry, M. Sarwar, Tariq Dar MBE, Syed Kausar Kazmi, Waqar Ahmed and M. Aslam appreciated the gesture of Bestway Group to enable these talented students to go further and get the higher education. They were of the opinion that other organisations and philanthropists should also follow this noble worthy example. “Sir Anwar Pervez and Bestway Group are the role model for the society and their efforts and success are matchless”, they complimented.
Notwithstanding over the last four decades Bestway Group has created thousands of jobs, supported communities and generated wealth across Britain. The success the Group has achieved is not confined to the UK but proudly one of the leading investors in Pakistan.
Sir Anwar Pervez, Chairman genuinely says; “At the heart of our corporate philosophy is the desire to help the less fortunate by supporting charities and empowering communities in the UK and Pakistan”.
“It is my article of faith that Bestway Group companies and charitable trusts embody highest standards of corporate social responsibility by supporting local communities and stakeholders that have contributed towards the success of the businesses”, he vowed.
He said that it is our primary duty to serve the country where we live and the country where we were born. “We are doing our best to fulfil our responsibilities. By focusing on the key sectors of education and health both independently as well as in partnership with specialist organisations, the Board believes that it can empower disadvantaged sections of the local community through economic regeneration and employment creation”, he added
Zameer Choudrey CBE, (CEO, Bestway Group) briefed the audience about the background and engagements of the Foundation. He said that theadvancement of education for public benefit in both the UK and overseas by providing assistance through promotion of local schools; provision of scholarships to university students; supporting education initiatives and endowing universities.
He said thatSir Anwar Pervez established the Bestway Foundation UK in 1987. Each year the Group contributes approximately 2.5% of its post tax profits to the Foundation. Bestway Group has donated in excess of £13.5 million in the UK alone to fund the Foundation in its charitable activities.
In order to further enhance the grant giving mechanism, a sister organisation was established in Pakistan in 1997 and Zameer Choudrey was appointed Chairman of Bestway Foundation Pakistan.
Zameer Choudrey said that Pakistan is facing a formidable challenge of economic development and poverty reduction. Currently, one- fourth of the country’s population lives below the poverty line and there is a low literacy rate, and a high fertility rate, which is higher in Pakistan than any other Asian country.
It is a matter of great proud that in Pakistan, Bestway Cement and United Bank have donated over US$9 million to charitable causes in Pakistan either directly or through the Bestway Foundation Pakistan.
Since 1987, over 450 students of South Asian origin have been provided scholarships to attend universities in the UK, USA and Canada. In order to enhance the skill test of the local community, Bestway Cement has trained over 2,500 apprentices since 1998. The Bestway Foundation Pakistan provides 300 scholarships annually to students across the country.
Dawood Pervez, Younus Sheikh, Hyder zameer ChoudhreyM. Saleem and other prominent figures were also present at the occasion. At the end of the event and after the delicious lunch, Sir Anwar Pervez awarded gifts to students and teachers. The students presented a painting as thankful gesture to Sir Anwar Pervez.