OBAT Helpers is a non-profit, 501(C) 3 organization committed to providing aid, support, education and economic empowerment to the unfortunate, displaced forgotten population residing in camps in Bangladesh. Commonly known as stranded Pakistanis, they have been suffering silently in the countless slums or makeshift camps scattered across Bangladesh, for the past 40 years. They are unclaimed by both the governments of Bangladesh and Pakistan. Altogether, there are about 300,000 people languishing in sixty-six makeshift camps in extremely poor conditions. They are a population living in abject poverty with no access to basic amenities or sanitation facilities.
OBAT Helpers was initially formed as a family initiative to alleviate the suffering of these forgotten people. as much as it was possible, with limited resources. OBAT is an acronym formed by the first letters of the names of the parents (Obaid, Bilquis, Aman & Tayyaba) of Anwar and Afshan Khan, the founders of this charitable initiative. However, once these forgotten people were chosen as the immediate relief focus, the founders realized that a family initiative like theirs would be rendered totally ineffective due to the extreme severity and magnitude of the crisis on hand. OBAT Helpers was thus incorporated as a non-profit, non-religious, and non-political organization in the state of Indiana, to address this predicament.
These people in the camps have no access to clean water and live on less than a dollar a day; they live in tiny tin and bamboo huts; their children don’t go to school so that they can help their parents make a living; they suffer from infectious diseases and malnutrition; and the living conditions are unsanitary and shameful. These people need immediate help. OBAT has established schools, health clinics, tutoring and computer training centers along with a self-empowerment program. The underlying goal is to improve the lives of these unfortunate people and to replace the misery in their lives with happiness, hope and self-worth.
Currently, the target is to build and provide basic amenities and decent living conditions for the camp dwellers. Presently, education and economic empowerment are the areas of focus. The emphasis is on providing them with tools to help themselves and their fellow beings in the community, in the most effective manner. We believe that a judicious and strategic mix of aid, education, and vocational training and self-empowerment initiatives will help us achieve this objective.
OBAT Helpers as a non-profit organization is solely dependent upon donations and volunteer support to carry out its programs and activities.