How It All Started

028Thanks again for visiting. My name is Iftikhar Iftikhar. I’m a Pakistani Canadian who, like many others, migrated to Canada a long time ago. I’ve built a life for myself in Toronto, Canada and I’m quite happy here. I’m going to tell you the reason I started all this and why you should consider being part of this campaign to provide safe and clean milk to the children of this village called Youngsonabad of Pakistan.

In 2012, I had the very first opportunity to take a trip back to Pakistan and visit my relatives (my mom’s brother) living in Youngsonabad, Pakistan. It’s a small little Christian farmer’s village about 100 KM from Lahore, Pakistan. I was amazed by the simplicity of their lives and the amazing determination of the people to better themselves even thou they don’t necessarily have the means. I’ll update you on the history of Youngsonabad soon enough. But first I would like you to read why you should care in the first place.

In 2011 I sent some money to my uncle to buy a buffalo because they always complained about the milk from the shops and other dairy farms. And in February of 2012, I was happy to see ‘Basanti’ the buffalo and her baby calf ‘Lajjo’ were in very good health and everyone was enjoying the milk Basanti produced. During my stay at my uncle’s farm house, I noticed something a bit odd about this place. Around 6 AM in the morning, every single day people were lining up outside our farm house to buy milk from us. And even thou everyone was welcomed, a lot of people were turned away because we just didn’t have enough milk to sell. I was quite surprised about this and asked my uncle what’s going on. He told me that this place is the only place in the entire area that offers them absolutely safe and clean milk. Other dairy farms like to water down the milk and don’t store it properly before selling it to the shops. And people just don’t have any other place to buy milk from because buying branded and packaged milk is too expenses for people to afford in this area. This got me interested in finding out for myself. Since I was on my vacation and had some time to kill I decided to take a look at some of the other dairy farms and find out what they were doing. I pretended that I was interested in purchasing a cow from them; this got me access to their facilities. To my surprise, the animals were in poor health and the owners didn’t care much about this fact. To top it all off, these dairy farmers were openly adding dirty water to the milk to sell to the people who were lined up to buy milk. And even thou a lot of people were asking them not to, they didn’t bother stopping. Their response to the people was, “This is the best you will get. If you don’t want it, go buy the expensive brand milk packs.”

People don’t really have much of a choice but to buy milk from these dairy farmers, because they need it for their kids. I found very similar practices all around the area; the poor condition of the animals and lack of interest in providing quality over quantity. At that time I came to a decision that something needs to change here because this is causing a lot of health problems for the children and adults alike. Since then I’ve been slowly funding a very small dairy farm in Youngsonabad that provides clean and safe milk to the villagers. I save up as much as I can here in Toronto, and send money to improve our farm.

I’ve gone back twice since then to visit my uncle and to see how things are coming along with our micro dairy farm. But it seems like one man, with a lot of determination and goodwill, cannot bring about the change that is needed for the future of the children of this village. One man may not be able to do it, but a community can make that difference. This is why I’m here. And I’m asking a community that has the means to make a difference and create something that will impact the health and future of children. I’m asking for your help in expanding and developing the Youngson Dairy Farm so we can provide what the people of this village need, children and adults alike!

We appreciate any and all support that you are able to provide. Your contribution, no matter how small, will help save lives of children of our village.

Thank you.

Iftikhar Iftikhar

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