January issue 2013
Boy on a Mission
Currently studying at the London School of Economics, Mohsin Rasheed was an individual who I had seen throughout my school years. He rarely sought the spotlight. Apart from winning every other badminton tournament that was held at the Foundation Public School, I do not recall much about him. But when he enrolled at Nixor College, he seemed to transform into a new person. He became very active socially, excelled academically and by the time he formed Nixor Hospital while still in college, everyone knew his name.
His journey into philanthropy began after the sudden demise of his elder brother. “Losing a brother was a very traumatic experience. Even though we had provided him the best medical care available because we were fortunate enough to have the resources to do so, we could not save him. It felt awful, and it got me thinking of how bad those people must feel who lose loved ones purely because they cannot afford treatment,” says Rasheed.
This propelled him, at age 18, to create Nixor Hospital, a mobile medical facility aimed at providing healthcare in the form of medical camps for the under-privileged.
“I was alone to begin with; I had no proper team to help guide me but luck was definitely on my side,” claims Rasheed. The project received its initial fillip with a donation of Rs 50,000 from an anonymous donor and a steady stream of donations from his teacher, Mrs Zeenat Farookee. The latter also provided Rasheed with what he calls much needed “emotional support.” And with these resources to start with, he set up his first medical camp at Kamaro, which he says was the “ice breaker.” After that the NGO took form, with donations and help flowing in from all around.
Since its inception, Nixor Hospital has successfully provided free medical assistance to over 7,500 patients through a series of medical camps, including those set up for flood relief. Along with this, Nixor Hospital has held successful blood collection drives, a summer clinic in Gizri and organised dental treatment for the janitorial staff at Nixor College. One medical camp set up during the summer of 2011 was particularly poignant. The Faraz Khan Memorial Medical Camps in the city of Gharo, spearheaded by Rasheed in memory of his friend Faraz who had died in a tragic accident, provided people with free medical assistance with the money raised by the Nixor Team.
But Rasheed says his biggest achievement was when the cancer treatment service he set up received a sponsor and his NGO could then organise this as one of the cornerstones of his work.
Of course there were several impediments styming the smooth operation of his NGO. “Getting my work recognised and marketed was a big issue. Finances still remain a major issue.” And Rasheed confesses he sometimes had to fight to keep himself motivated, especially when he encountered hurdles along the way.
It must be a battle he has won because Nixor Hospital has developed a dynamic all its own, and he was able to set up a functioning viable organisation that would continue the work he started when he left for college abroad, thanks to the dedicated team of workers he left behind to carry forward his vision.
A personal tragedy propelled Mohsin Rasheed to provide medical care to those who otherwise cannot afford it.
And despite how much he has achieved, Rasheed remains modest. He thanks Rehan Rehman, Kabeer Jadoon, Faraz Iqbal and Danish Soomro as the four people who “had his back” throughout his Nixor journey, and speaks of what he considers his most memorable moment of this journey: after Nixor Hospital’s first medical camp ended and he went home, his dad hugged him tightly and told him how proud he was of him.
And as for the future? A proper, state-of-the-art hospital in Pakistan, to which he is determined to return.