A poor country comprising rich people! This is what is said about Pakistan, but let’s put it like; ‘A poor country comprising generous people’. A recently published report of Pakistan Center for Philanthropy (PCP) endorsed this thinking. According to the report, Pakistanis spend almost 1 percent of their GDP on charity. This percentage is comparable to the developed countries like Canada and England, where people respectively spend 1.2% and 1.3% of their GDP on charity works.

The cycle of helping underprivileged community of society never stops throughout the year, but especially in the holy month of Ramazan, people in Pakistan become more plentiful and generous. At this time of the year every individual, either rich or poor, do some giving conferring to their capacity. According to the same report of PCP, in Pakistan annual volume of charity exceeds Rs240 billion.

These stats make us proud as a nation, but there is an interesting yet alarming fact about charitable organisations in Pakistan. The same report reveals that philanthropists in Pakistan have less trust in such institutions and believe in helping individuals directly. There is a huge difference between direct and indirect donations as out of total charity money, only 33% goes to institute whereas 67% is spent on individuals by individuals. To some extent, it is the failure of philanthropic institutes working in Pakistan. Psychologically, people feel satisfaction by donating directly to the deserving people.

There are many factors behind this frame of mind; one being that many charity organisations become more noticeable in the month of Ramzzan than the rest of the year. However, there are institutes which have proved their performance over the years through untiring efforts in public services with transparency and responsibility. One such example is that of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre (SKMCH&RC).

It has a unique identity among masses as it is the only charity organisation across the globe which is providing free of cost cancer treatment to 75 to 80 percent of poor and needy patients. Brain child of Pakistan’s legendry cricketer Imran Khan, it was once considered impossible to build and run the hospital with the free treatment dream policy but through the generosity of people of Pakistan, it became a reality.

In a country where people prefer individual giving more, the success of SKMCH&RC is evidence that people blindly trust this institute. The huge amounts donated year after year to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital depicts the generosity of the Pakistani people in the field of philanthropy.