Transnationalism from below: initialresponses by British Kashmiris to theSouth Asia earthquake of 2005
SHAMS REHMAN & VIRINDER S. KALRA
The earthquake that shook Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan, and India on 8 October 2005 had major consequences for the region in all areas of life. An assessment of the damageand loss of life and need for relief is ongoing. This article examines the transnational fund-raising effort that arose in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. By offering a particular case study of the fund-raising effort in the north of England, we hope to illustrate the generalmechanisms by which aid was collected among diaspora communities. Our contention is that diaspora fund-raising and distribution was initially able to respond in a more direct and effective manner than states and non-governmental organisation. The reason for this was theutilisation of existing active and hitherto dormant transnational links.
The earthquake that shook Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan, and India on 8 October 2005 had its most devastating impact in Pakistan-administered Kashmir andPakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP). Although considerable damagealso occurred in Indian-administered Kashmir, as well as in other parts of Indiaand Pakistan, this was small when compared with the estimated 70,000 deaths and2.8 million homeless in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and eastern NWFP.
Likeany humanitarian disaster, the effects of the earthquake were widely felt at alllevels in various societies across the globe. International organisations such asthe United Nations, World Bank and Asian Development Bank, alongside worldgovernments, relief agencies, philanthropic institutions, large non-governmentalorganisation (NGOs) and rescue teams, responded to the immediate require-ments of rescue and relief. World leaders extended their support and sympathiesto the victims, their families and the governments involved. Indeed, the flowof aid, loans and goods is an ongoing process, and the ‘donor conference’ of lateNovember 2005 held in Islamabad managed to secure long-term reconstruction
Correspondence: Shams Rehman, School of Social Sciences, Roscoe Building, University of Manchester,Manchester M13 9PL, UK. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgVirinder Kalra, School of Social Sciences, Roscoe Building, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL,UK. E-mail: email@example.com
Contemporary South Asia
(3), (September, 2006) 309–323
ISSN 0958-4935 print; 1469-364X online/06/030309–15
2006 Taylor & FrancisDOI: 10.1080/09584930601098059