Since 1992, I have been writing NGO 'development stories'. Time was when these were unknown and newspapers and journals were thirsting for them. But now attitudes have changed. Most editors say they are publicity for NGOs and don't want them anymore. However, over these years, I have established close connections with a few NGOs that value my work and ask me to document their initiatives whether they are post-flood rehab or poverty alleviation or health and education.
Until 1992, I saw that NGO annual reports and 'development stories' for papers were more like corporate records. Though the organisations work with human beings, there were no people in the stories. There were only claims of what had been done by the NGO. Though it is in bad form to make this claim, but I suppose it has to be made here: I was the first writer to bring the beneficiaries into the story. It was their story and I used their words.
Most of the time, these ordinary people, the real people of Pakistan, said things that touched your heart; they could bring tears to your eyes. This was the easiest way of writing these stories because you did not have to make an effort to create a story: it was just there in words that needed only to be translated.
I still do that and my stories have been circulated abroad, some have ended up as documentaries and others have brought more funds to my clients.
posted by Salman Rashid @ 10:03 AM,
At April 27, 2013 at 3:00 PM,
Senta Siller said...
NGOs have become infamous in this country. Wish your work can improve their image.
At April 27, 2013 at 5:26 PM,
"These ordinary people, the real people of Pakistan, said things that touched your heart; they could bring tears to your eyes."
Yes. I agree. How real people feel matters at the end.
At May 4, 2013 at 12:55 PM,
Salman Rashid said...
Senta, Thank you. I try to do what I can. And we still have some very good NGOs with good names. So let's help them.
Anonymous, That indeed is all that matters: the real people of Pakistan.
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