THE Sharif family has donated Rs 10 million to launch the fund for the victims of the current floods, setting an example of generosity towards their less fortunate brethren that deserves wide emulation not just within the two classes the family represents, but in society as a whole. The Sharifs are both industrialists and politicians, and it was as the latter that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was in a position to announce the donation. This should be a signal not just to industrialists, but to moneyed people of all professions and callings, to come forward and donate to the fund, but it should also serve as a signal to members of the political class that they are expected to be with the masses practically in this time of tribulation. No donation would justify earning by corruption, but since politicians are presumed to have engaged in massive corruption, they are assumed to be flush with money. As they must have money to practice politics, they should come forward at this time of national need and help alleviate the suffering of the common man. There seem to be three natural divisions: Cabinet members, those whose constituencies are affected, and the rest, who represent the interests of the entire province, in the case of MPAs, or country, in the case of MNAs and Senators. As the entire country is affected, no one should claim any exemption. Either the respective presiding officers should make a levy, or else the parties should be made responsible. Anyone wishing to make a separate donation, either individually or on behalf of an entire family, should be encouraged to do so. Any giving by politicians, who have not come forward so far, should not prevent the giving of Zakat money, either by private individuals, or politicians. For too long have politicians exploited their positions to make vast sums illegally, or to keep their incomes tax-free. It is now time that they came forward and played the role for which they have been elected now, in the nations time of need.