National News

Dr Arif Alvi – A Dentist Turned Awami Leader

Dr Arif Alvi a dentist turned politician seems to be a lone voice from Karachi who talks about the issues of the people in Sindh, Karachi and also his constituency. In the history of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi is the most prominent dental surgeon who entered politics after Muhtarma Fatima Jinnah. Dr Arif Alvi’s first stint in the assembly made an impact with his articulate way of putting across his point of view with proper reasoning and logic. He was one of the most vocal member of the Assembly and was member of many parliamentary committees. NA 247 formerly NA 250 became the most discussed constituency in the country and perhaps the only one ever to be discussed in the corridors of power through the efforts of Dr Arif Alvi. He has served his constituency well during his tenure as member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, from June 2013 to May 2018. A celebrated dentist he has served as the president of the Asia-Pacific Dental Federation and of the Pakistan Dental Association. He was instrumental in drafting the first constitution of Pakistan Dental Association. Dr Alvi has started his political career as a polling agent and is the founding members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. He has contested in 1997, 2002 and then in 2013. He also served as the secretary general of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf from 2006 to 2013. He was elected member of the National Assembly of Pakistan for the first time in Pakistani general election, 2013 on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ticket from Constituency NA-250 which has now been renamed as NA-247 and was the only PTI member to win a National Assembly seat from Sindh in 2013 elections. Since 2016, he is serving as the president of PTI Sindh chapter.

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Leading by Example, Cleaning the Street with his Own Hands

Against all odds he was elected as member of the national assembly of Pakistan from securing 76000 votes despite serious law and order situation created by all those who wanted to resist change. There are some people from the posh areas of his constituency who raise their voice in questioning him for the work he did in his constituency but the fact of the matter is that without any government support, he raised finances and first provided for the areas which were less privileged followed by rest of the constituency. He was instrumental in opening of the road in front of Bilawal house, he faced a lot of resistance but eventually the road was opened and the credit goes to Dr Arif Alvi. In spite of the fact that his party won only one NA and 3 PS seats from Sindh Dr Alvi and his team comprising Samar Khan, Khurram Sherzaman and Seema Zia made all possible efforts to bring about a change in his constituency and address the problems of the constituency. With no government support and no grants they went about focusing on Education, health and issues related to water, cleanliness and roads to name a few. In the education sector, Jamshed Ahmed School (Hijrat Colony) was upgraded to offer Matriculation with both Science and Arts subjects. With the help of many donors and the guidance of Dr. Arif Alvi and Samar Ali Khan, a fully operational Science Lab was built and handed over to the school. Similar work has been carried out in other schools, such as the Baldia Uzma School (Kalapul), Najeeb Shaheed School (Tekri Colony), Rahat Islamia School (Qayyumabad), Rizwan School (Qayyumabad) and Pak Colony School (Qayyumabad). The flagship of the Education initiatives is the Railway School near Kalapul which was completely revamped and today wears a new look. The school was transformed and handed over to the Citizens Foundation. Dr Alvi and his team took robust initiatives and out of the box thinking including raising funds to develop better facilities and infrastructure for the common citizens of Karachi, in the shortest period of time, with a vibrant role played by MNA Dr. Arif Alvi and his MPAs. These philanthropic projects were carried out under a Registered Charity which is called the Insaf Community Welfare Society. Setting their priorities as Water, Health, Education, Environment, Safety & Security the team did an outstanding job by installing 17 Reverse Osmosis Plants, Regular free health camps, thousands of free cataract operations, Schools Adoptions, fund-raising for development and trees plantation.

Access to Jinnah Hospital Made Easy

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It was through the efforts of PTI’s elected representatives which yielded great results and the citizens’ lives have become much easier, due to the complete re-carpeting of the dilapidated Rafiqui Shaheed Road leading to the Jinnah Hospital Karachi. Now, this route appears to be a high-speed thoroughfare for the commuters and patients, providing them a swift access between Jinnah Hospital to Kalapul and the road to Defence. This route had remained unkempt with big potholes for many years, although it is the main approach towards the largest health-care institution of Sindh. The sewerage system under this road has also been thoroughly reconstructed as a long term solution to the overflowing gutters.

Up-grade & Renovation of Educational Institutions

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PTI arranged regular fund raisers for the education sector in its constituency. Once such fund raiser for Pakistan Railway School was attended by Shahzad Roy, Khalid Anum and many generous donors. The untiring efforts of Dr Arif Alvi were once again evident in transforming the school from its present dilapidated condition into a worldclass institution, with the help of; Ministry of Railways, The Citizens Foundation and the Bakhtiar Family. Continuing with this initiative, an amount of Rs. 25 Million was collected to revamp the academic and sports facilities, plantation, security and sewerage.

Quality Healthcare at your Doorstep

Dr Arif Alvi-10Sitting in the opposition did not deter the PTI team in anyway. The Health Committee led by Dr Sanjay and Dr Samiya regularly organized Free Eye Camp and offered free cataract surgeries in collaboration with Al-Baseer Eye Hospital throughout the less privileged areas of NA-247. It catered to approximately 30000 residents of the colonies – men, women, children and the elderly. The under-privileged residents were screened for cataract surgeries, refraction and corrective treatment, various infections and free glasses were distributed.

Clean Drinking Water for Life – RO Filtration Plants

Dr Arif Alvi-3Since NA-247 has always suffered from the shortage of water, Dr Alvi’s team installed 17 Reverse Osmosis Plant throughout the constituency. The plants with reasonable capacity to deliver clean mineral water every day to the community is great service to the people of NA-247. The team made sure that both PS 112 now PS 111 and PS 113 now PS 110 were covered .

Sewerage & Garbage Disposal

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NA-247 is one of the most diversified constituencies in Pakistan which includes very posh areas as well as slums. Catering to everyone without any support was never possible, however catering to the less privileged areas became an instant priority. Long standing issues like C Area in Karachi, near Hazara Colony and Defence Bridge was provided with a completely rebuilt sewerage system with a 1200 foot drain pipeline. The project initiated by the PTI team and the Clifton Cantonment Board was a big change. There was a big dangerous Open-Drain running through the children’s play area with a lot of garbage accumulated there, which previously threatened the health and safety of the kids. The PTI team arranged trucks to regularly dispose off the garbage, through 2 new garbage dumps. The residents were regularly made aware about health hazards of garbage and pollution, to motivate them to improve their area’s sanitary standards.

Cleanliness Drives – For a hygienic Karachi

Regular cleanliness campaigns were organized like the one in the Burns Road area – mobilizing the City government employees to conduct a fullfledged cleanliness drive across the area, which is heavily polluted due to negligence and lack of resources. The neighborhood community was also briefed about ensuring hygiene on a daily basis, in collaboration with the city government.

Protest against Water Shortage

Dr Arif Alvi-4Regular protests were arranged against the water authorities due to the growing crisis all over Karachi. A large number of people attended and supported such raising of issues. The exorbitant rates of water tankers, adulteration of sewerage/brackish water with drinking water, shutdown of main water supply, unfair water bills from KWSB, and many other complaints were officially lodged and rectifies through the efforts of PTA NA 247 team. When the crisis worsened, Dr Alvi accompanied by MPAs, CBC councilors and residents did a sit-in in front of CBC demanding solution to the water crisis. In the efforts FIR was lodged against the MNA, MPAs and the councilors but they stood determined to solve the water issue in the constituency, the FIR was recently withdrawn. Ensuring safety & security of citizens Karachi city is under the constant pressure of ensuring the safety and security of its residents. PTI team in NA-247 worked to improve the security situation in the area. Suggestions were made to revamp the CBC force, empower them with a strong police force and actively monitor various entry and exit points to this area. CBC officials showed interest in this program and recruited 60 personnel for its traffic warden section. Dr Arif Alvi is again standing from the same constituency which is now re-named as NA-247 and it is time we all support him and his team with chances of PTI forming the government becoming brighter by the day, just imagine what his team can do in fixing the long standing issues faced by the residents once they form the government. Let us pledge our vote for change.

June 26, 2018

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Dental is part of the Medical News Group of publications which in 1968 became the pioneer of medical journalism in Pakistan. Medical News is the only periodical in Pakistan which has 3 simultaneous editions from Karachi, Islamabad and online.