Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day: February 22-29

February 25, 1952

“KARACHI, Pakistan, Sunday…The All-Pakistan Women’s Association showed me also a small maternity clinic which they started in a refugee camp under considerable difficulties, since water in the area is only turned on for two hours in the morning and two at night and they have no running water as yet in the clinic. They have no electricity, so that if they have night cases they must use lamps. But the conditions certainly are better than in the refugee huts, for they are clean and sanitary. In this same maternity center, all children of that area of refugees come in with cups every morning and get a spoonful of cod liver oil and a cup of milk.

We visited another camp of refugees a little later where I thought conditions were particularly bad. They had animals right in with them—goats, sheep, chickens and cows, all tied to the door or staked down and scratching around in the sand. The smell in some parts was not very pleasant and the flies were something beyond description. These conditions are what make the health problem so difficult at the present time, but I must say the women are valiantly struggling to do their share in meeting the problems.

Friday afternoon I saw a demonstration of the activities of the Pakistan Women’s National Reserve and National Guard. They paraded for us, did exercises, and demonstrated the work of their various branches in civil defense by simulating an air raid. They are trained in clerical work, nursing, fire fighting and self-defense. While the work seemed to me as yet not very professional, it is of great value to get it started.

I’ve seen schools which the women have started for refugee children, and it seems to me the teachers are doing a wonderful job. I’ve also visited industrial centers and shops were cottage industries sell their products. All this is again the work of women.

In the evening I addressed a group of university students at the YMCA and later attended a dinner given by the Pakistan United Nations Association. It was indeed gratifying to see what an active association there is here and to know that they observe United Nations Day and are actively trying to promote knowledge of the work of the United Nations.”

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