Since the 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck northwest Pakistan on October 8, thousands
of people live in utter darkness once the sun goes down. Now, light is on the
way. Responding with urgency to the call for help, Pakistani-American Pervaiz
Lodhie, owner of solid-state lighting manufacturer LEDtronics Inc., express shipped
2000 of his company's LED flashlights to Pakistan.
Horrified by scenes of devastation in his homeland, Lodhie took action. First,
contributing to Pakistani President Musharraf's Quake Relief Fund, and then
investigating what material assistance he could provide. Learning of the critical
need for sustainable portable lighting, Lodhie knew it was a task that he was
uniquely positioned to fulfill. "It is ideal that LEDtronics specializes
in energy-efficient, solid-state lighting. The flashlights were sitting in the
stockroom ready to go," says Lodhie.
LED flashlights are perfect for use in the arduous conditions existing in post-quake
Pakistan. Their ruggedly constructed exteriors and internal components are nearly
indestructible. They operate for up to six continuous days on a set of batteries
unlike traditional flashlights, an important consideration due to the sporadic
access to supplies. Additionally, LED flashlights eliminate the threats of burns,
flames, fumes, spills and explosions of kerosene-fueled lamps.
The enormity of the disaster is unimaginable. More than 54,000 thousand people
are dead, 3.3 million are homeless, and the area's infrastructure is decimated.
Recovery will take decades. As Lodhie prepares another shipment of long-operating
LED lighting products (solar-powered LED lanterns, LED candles and LED-illuminated
safety vests) for the earthquake victims and rescuers, he is talking with competitors
within his industry about contributing aid. Lodhie believes the scale of the
tragedy transcends businesses, religions, ethnicities and politics. Lodhie adds,
"It's the time for us to rise above our differences and help in this human
Lodhie offers to facilitate any donations to the relief effort. He works with
Indus Earth Trust, an NGO dedicated to alleviating poverty in Pakistan and is
an organization with which Lodhie has collaborated with on many other projects,
to handle the distribution of goods in Pakistan. Donations to the President
Musharraf's Quake Relief Fund can be made to the Pakistan Embassy and Consulates.
Aside from assisting with the earthquake relief, Lodhie is a tireless champion
for Pakistan, promoting Pakistani businesses and investments. He is a corporate
member of the U.S.-Pakistan Business Council, which is an integral component
of the South Asia Affairs Department at the United States Chamber of Commerce.
Lodhie is also active in Pakistani American Leadership Center (PALC), a Washington-based
organization dedicated to educating American public on issues related to Pakistan
and Pakistani Americans. It recently helped found the bi-partisan Congressional
Story by Loretta Conley