Bill Gates, founder of the multi-billion dollar Microsoft recently wrote a blog in which he shared stories of seven heroes of Covid-19 from around the world who inspired him. One young Pakistani boy, Sikander Bizenjo happened to be one of them.
Bill Gates, who is also a Philanthropist and a tech titan described the heroic efforts of Sikander Bizenjo as “the best of humanity at a time of crisis”. These heroes represent the best of who we can be, he wrote. “Their efforts to solve the world’s challenges demonstrate our values as a society and they serve as powerful examples of how to make a positive difference in the world,” he added.
While speaking to Gulf News, Sikander Bizenjo said the team was “overwhelmed and thrilled by the appreciation from Bill Gates” for being recognised among seven heroes of the pandemic. “This is a proud moment for Pakistan and especially for Balochistan as we don’t hear much positive or inspiring news from there. The best part, he said, is “knowing that your efforts have touched so many lives.”
So what was it that made this youngster a hero in the eyes of Bill Gates? When the global pandemic began its spread in Pakistan, those living in the poor neighbourhoods were hit harder than the rest of the country. Sikander, who works as a manager at
a business school in Karachi, instantly decided to help the poor and vulnerable in his home province of Balochistan – Pakistan’s largest but most impoverished and sparsely populated region.
In order to help, he reached out to youngsters in his home town after which he formed a group called the Balochistan Youth Against Corona with Bizenjo and Banari Mengal as co-founders and Dr Yasir Baloch and Khalid Ismail as core team members to raise funds to support the people affected by the pandemic.
Ever since the group commenced its work back in April, they have managed to reach over 13,000 people in 42 towns of the province sans numerous small settlements, Sikander said. Monthly food rations were distributed by the group together with personal protective equipment, face shields, masks and hand sanitisers for all the front line health workers. Most of the supplies were bought from local vendors to support the native businesses. This goes to show “how the entire community can thrive from each other’s support.”
To announce their achievement, Sikander Bizenjo took to Twitter and shared the news. “Guys! Our work in Balochistan has just been featured among “Seven unsung heroes of this pandemic” by @BillGates!! This is what happens when we unite and work together! More power to the youth of our country, together we are stronger,” he wrote. You can view his tweet here:
Guys! Our work in Balochistan has just been featured among "Seven unsung heroes of this pandemic" by @BillGates!!
— Sikander Bizenjo (@sikanderbizenjo) September 10, 2020
The number of Coronavirus cases in Pakistan have been declining rapidly, and with that being said, the youngsters have made the decision to continue in their mission to serve humanity by focusing on education. They transformed the group into Balochistan Youth Action Committee (BYAC) and aim to spur love of reading and improve literacy level in the province by building reading rooms.
Till date, they have donated over 500 books to different parts of Balochistan. The initiative made headlines when Brazilian novelist, best known for his book ‘The Alchemist’, Paulo Coelho, gave a shout-out to the youngsters with this tweet: “Send books to Balochistan, they’re building reading rooms”.