The final of the current nine fundraisers for a new £32M state-of-the-art hospital in Jorian (near Jatlan) in the Mirpur District witnessed the charity’s single biggest donation pledged by a UK charity.

After successful fundraisers held in Peterborough, Leeds, Bradford, Oldham, Derby, Luton, Birmingham, Slough, Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust’s (KORT) fundraiser in Dewsbury, on Tuesday 9th July saw the biggest single donation of £1M from another UK registered charity – One Nation.

KORT’s Dewsbury fundraiser was the ninth event in recent days, and was held at Aziz Banqueting; the venue was very well attended and was filled with Kashmiri and Pakistani members of the community as well as business people from the local area.

KORT Chairman Ch Mohammed Akhtar (centre) with Molana Sameer (right) and Mufti Yousaf (left) from One Nartion

A number of wards, fully equipped hospital beds and essential medical equipment were pledged on the night.

KORT’s Jorian Hospital Project is developing a hospital and on-site educational facilities stemming from a profound need for free accessible and quality healthcare services for the poor and needy in the region.

Azad Kashmir has been riddled with contentious bureaucracy since 1947, which has hindered economic and social development compared with mainland Pakistan. For Kashmiris living and working in the UK, it’s almost like they’ve been left with no choice but to take charge and invest in the region themselves, since almost all have families there.

Founder and chairman for KORT, Chaudhry Mohammed Akhtar, speaking to Asian Express comments: “In an unprecedented show of support for KORT, UK’s Kashmiri and Pakistani communities, in recent days, have donated very generously towards the £32M free healthcare hospital project in the Mirpur District.

“I’m eternally grateful to One Nation for their very generous donation, which has become historically the largest single sum donated ever to KORT. We also extend our gratitude to the Magic Wishing Well, another UK registered charity, for their contribution and support for KORT.

“The KORT management team would like to thank local MusKORTeer Rashad Khan, local Trustee Rashid Bashir, and the Dewsbury KORT team Zulfiqar Nazir, Tahir Ayub, Masood Akhtar and Haleem Akbar for their hard work and efforts to deliver such a hugely successful event.

“We would also like to thank our MusKORTeers up snd down the country for their help and support in all of its nine fundraising events held in the last couple of weeks; and of course our Media Partners Asian Express, who’ve done a wonderful job in highlighting the success of our recent fundraising efforts.

KORT Founder & Chairman Chaudhry Mohammed Akhtar

“The support our Kashmiri brothers and sisters in the UK have shown in recent days towards our Jorian Hospital Project is testament to how invested they are to their home region.”

KORT’s journey began 18- years ago in the aftermath of the devastating 2005 earthquake that rocked the northern areas of Kashmir and Pakistan. Back then, witnessing the plight of thousands – especially the orphan children compelled Ch Akhtar to respond. He took the first steps and rented a building in established sanctuary for orphan children, but that was just the beginning.

“Fuelled by desire to provide even greater support, in 2008, I set out to build a new purpose facility, that would redefined the very concept of an orphanage. And am proud to say that we’ve delivered educational and residential projects for over 1,500 children to date.

“Such is the support and interest in the orphanage, that each month we see around 2000 visitors who have the chance to tour the facilities, speak to the children and staff, and witness first-hand the provisions we have for the educational and social care of these vulnerable children.”

But now, KORT has a new determined mission, one that will redefine healthcare, industry training and education.

The Jorian Hospital project will develop a new 500-bed hospital complex will feature an Accident & Emergency department, along with full hospital services such as outpatient care, radiology, paediatrics, pathology, pulmonary, dental and eye clinics. Alongside this, KORT will be developing on site, accommodation for staff and students, a medical college, dental college, a nursing training college, as well as other facilities.

Ch Akhtar continues: “We don’t view our work as ‘charity’, we view it as an extension of ‘Ibaada’, as investing in humanity. We are empowering our own people back home – giving them the tools and means to become a better future of Azad Kashmir and Pakistan.”

With 4.5 million residents living before below the poverty line, many encounter significant obstacles when seeking specialised medical treatment, often necessitating costly and exhausting journeys to Islamabad or Lahore.

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