Aisam gets Federer, Djokovic to donate gear for flood victims
Lahore: Pakistan tennis ace Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi has roped in the support of top stars such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for a charity auction to raise funds for the flood victims in the country.
Aisam said leading stars including Federer, Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray, Djokovic, Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic have agreed to donate their gear to raise funds for the flood victims.
"Infact Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic have already sent their gear for the auction which will be held from the United Nations platform," Aisam told reporters.
He said he would also seek the help of his long-time doubles partner, Rohan Bhopanna to secure equipment for auction from leading sports personalities in India.
"The auction will be held sometime in November or December and we hope to raise considerable funds for the flood victims," he said.
Heavy rains accompanied by floods have caused immense damage to areas in Pakistan`s Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces with official figures stating that in Sindh alone over 350 people have been killed and some 1.2 million houses have been damaged or destroyed since monsoon rains triggered the crisis in late August.
It is a repeat of last year when millions were left homeless after being hit by epic floods in July and August. Some 800,000 families hit by that calamity remain homeless.
The United Nations and Pakistani government appealed on Sunday for USD 357 million in foreign donations to urgently help more than seven million people swamped by a second year of catastrophic floods.
"Pakistani people respond to appeals from sports personalities and already people are contacting me and telling me they want to help out. The response has been very encouraging," Aisam added.
He said he would go to Peshawar and meet the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to discuss the rehabilitation of the Pakistan Tennis Club at Shahi Bagh in Peshawar, which has been badly damaged in recent years.
The club is the country`s only tennis centre founded by Mohammed Ali Jinnah and hence has great historical significance.