Saying goodbye to a friend, colleague or just a person you know somehow is hard. But going through the same experience, I know it's harder for a person himself who is taking departure from a place after years living there as his second-home. One's feelings get attached to all things related to that place and the people, and the feeling of missing all these will keep taunting one's heart for weeks, if not months.
In Afghanistan, during the past decade, hundreds of hard-working humanitarian aid workers, volunteers, professionals and experts have come to contribute in the rebuilding and reconstruction of this doomed country. Some of them come by choice; others try adventure, and most come for the humanitarian cause of help and support to the downtrodden masses of this war-ravaged country held in conflicts and chaos for the last four decades.
There is a culture of volunteerism to work in the underdeveloped countries. In other parts of the world, aid workers enjoy their passion of humanitarian assistance because of relative security and welcoming behavior of all sections of that society. But in Afghanistan, most of those who come by choice are well aware of the conditions prevailing here, including security threat, restrictions and other problems.
Despite all the horrible routine news for the past four decades that inevitably reflect the identity and nature of this country abroad, there have been many brave, committed and hard-working people ready to sacrifice their luxurious lives back home for humanitarian cause in a war-torn country where they know about the ultimate risks of life. There are many of such kindhearted and dedicated people who have sacrificed their lives on this duty, while bringing smiles on the faces of war-ravaged people of Afghanistan, trying to heal their wounds.
I have come to know some of these dedicated persons working in the humanitarian sector in Afghanistan closely, who after staying here for many years serving to the cause of helping the voiceless through INGOs, local NGOs or volunteering for any organizations finally say goodbye with a reluctant heart.
What they leave behind is not only the memories of their kindheartedness and love, but the depth of their commitment and sacrifice for the cause of humanitarian assistance, besides the meaningful contribution they make to the building of this country, and helping the people in hardest conditions to live. The people whom I have known closely among those dedicating humanitarian aid workers in Afghanistan have been truly inspiring persons. Most among them have dedicated their lifetime working in the most challenging situations from Africa to Afghanistan helping people in armed conflicts, natural disasters and humanitarian crisis helping the voiceless.
The people of Afghanistan are thankful to those who come here for this noble cause of helping others by risking their own lives. We appreciate and honor all those aid workers, volunteers and experts who have chosen to serve in Afghanistan for wholly a humanitarian cause, and grateful for their services. We know that you have played important role in bringing awareness about plight and drawing attention to our sufferings on world stage, and very much appreciate it from the depth of heart with all we can give back is our love and appreciation.
I want to dedicate today's column to a friend of Afghanistan, a humanitarian activist and the most humble person I have ever known. He is Gyan Bahadur Adhikari, who is leaving Afghanistan after 8 years of meaningful contribution to the rebuilding of this country, tireless and fearless efforts of reflecting the plight and suffering of the people of Afghanistan to the international community.
GB, as he is known to the circle of his contacts, served as the Country Director of ActionAid Afghanistan—an INGO working in more than 50 countries—for the past six years. Prior to that, he was working in Afghanistan in 2003 in Mazar with communities. According to friends at ActionAid, GB has played the leading role in building this respected INGO making presence across Afghanistan working on all humanitarian, development and assistance sectors, of which most importantly bringing a cadre of Afghans to lead these efforts.
I want to pay tribute to him as an ordinary citizen of this country, truly admiring his pursuit of the noble cause of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan with all appreciation for his meaningful contribution. The people of Afghanistan owe him for role he has played in reflecting their plight to the world, helping those communities in disaster situations, launching long-term sustainable community development programs, and building a humanitarian organization in fighting poverty, generating awareness on human rights, and raising a cadre of Afghans to take lead of these efforts. I wish him all the best for his future endeavors as he will continue working in the noble field of humanitarian cause.