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Emergency relief case study (2)

Shahbaz was one amongst the thousands who lost their parents in the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. He was a child with a disability and could not walk. However, at the earthquake shelter in Lahore he received appropriate medical treatment and finally the little boy can walk.  

Shabaz at ERP Rawalpindi

Life changes for Shahbaz


8 October 2005 was an unforgettable day for Pakistan as a powerful earthquake jolted the country, leaving thousands of people dead. Children were the worst affected as most of them lost their parents and became homeless.


It was difficult for the government of Pakistan to handle this situation by itself. They needed support from non-profit organisations to share the responsibility. SOS Children Pakistan was authorized by the government to give shelter to children who had lost their parents.


Children from earthquake hit areas were brought to different SOS Children's Villages in Pakistan. Among these children was Shahbaz, a seven-year-old boy who had lost his parents in the catastrophe. He was a child with a disability. He could not walk and only crawled on his knees.


The day Shahbaz reached the earthquake shelter in Lahore he was taken to the hospital and all his check-ups were done. The doctor informed that he would have to undergo two major surgeries in order to walk properly.


Within a week Shahbaz's first surgery took place. One nurse from the SOS Children's Village Lahore stayed day and night with the child in the hospital. He was in the hospital for about fifteen days and then returned to the shelter.


After two months he went through his second surgery. Post-operative care was the most important thing. Shahbaz had to be taken to the hospital for regular check-ups and physiotherapy. Also his legs were supposed to be massaged everyday and he had to do regular exercises at home. The staff of the "SOS earthquake shelter" managed this challenge very well and Shahbaz was given the required treatment.


The result was heartening as Shahbaz first started walking with crutches and now he is walking on his own without the crutches. The little one is extremely happy with his new found independence. He has even started going to school and made some friends. He is in nursery school and takes interest in different activities. "Shahbaz is especially fond of colouring and enjoys playing with other kids," his class-teacher informs.


Shahbaz continues to live in the emergency shelter in Lahore where he is under the care of aunties (family helpers) and a supervisor. He is a very helpful boy and loves to help his aunties in the daily chores. He is doing well in his studies and enjoys walking without crutches.


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