HDI Needs Support to Help the Kalash Women of Pakistan
April 15, 2021
The Kalasha ethnic minority is an enclave of about 3,500 people, living in three valleys (Birir, Bumburate, and Rumbur) in the district of Chitral, province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Many historians believe the Kalash people are the descendants of Alexander the Great’s troops, some of whom settled in this region on their return from Persia. The Kalash people look to Greece as a source of inspiration, and the Government of Greece has provided continual educational and cultural assistance. The Kalash wish to preserve their culture and practice their religion. This is becoming increasingly difficult because of economic hardships brought about by massive recent last year. Families are suffering economically and are vulnerable to being enticed to convert for money.
The region in which the Kalasha people live lacks basic facilities; there is no road infrastructure, a total lack of health facilities, and minimal educational institutions. Women are especially impacted. Prenatal and post-natal care is nonexistent. There is not a single midwife for women in labor in Kalash valleys.
Anyone in need of medical attention, including pregnant women and the severely ill, has to travel for two hours on poorly maintained roads to reach basic health facilities in the nearest city, Chitral. In winter, due to snowfalls, the roads are blocked, it becomes nearly impossible for those in need to get to the city in case of an emergency.
Our goal is to raise money to provide critical medical equipment for Kalash women, which current economic constraints preclude them from obtaining.
Money raised will be used to purchase the most necessary medical equipment to maintain women’s health. HDI is a registered 501c3, and all donations are tax-deductible. HDI’s partner in Pakistan, which is overseeing the project, is FACE – Foundation for Arts, Culture & Education. HDI has collaborated with FACE for more than five years. It is one of the most respected NGOs in Pakistan and has long worked with U.S. Embassy Islamabad and European Embassies.