Queen recognises Bondh-e-Shams for serving people in 13 villages

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STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD Queen Elizabeth II on Friday recognised Hamza Farrukh, representing Pakistan, as the 129th Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of his exceptional voluntary service providing clean water to local communities in Pakistan. Farrukh, currently living in the UK, runs a charitable project ‘Bondh-e-Shams’ (droplets of sunshine) which is serving over 45,000 people across 13 remote Pakistani villages. Hamza began Bondhe-Shams’ as a college project in March 2014, focusing on one particular Pakistani village. He was then awarded further funding to set up the charity, which has now provided over 10 million cups of water to people in remote communities in Pakistan through an environmentally friendly, solarpowered water extraction and filtration system. Hamza Farrukh said: ‘At Bondh-e-Shams, we have promised to take on the global water crisis: lack of access to safe water in large swaths of developing nations is symptomatic of the numerous structural disadvantages faced by the global south. My team and I realise the responsibility we have towards the 1.2 billion people who go to bed thirsty each night, and are dedicated to this lifelong fight. ‘Bondh-e-Shams has leveraged the power of smart-tech and I-o-T in our flagship solution called the ‘Oasis Box:’ a transportable, solar-powered water filtration unit that removes 99.99% of water contamination and can be installed in under a record 7 minutes, anywhere in the world. I dedicate this award to my exceptional team, our partner non-profits and my family who have supported me unconditionally. I find this award as motivation to continue our work and reach thousands more in water-stressed communities – thank you again for this honour.’