Meet the man behind Facebook group Halaat Updates

Halaat kharab hain” is a phrase people in Pakistan are all too used to hearing. This is what Pooya Dubash would often hear from his sales team at his factory in Karachi. After having heard it enough times, he asked them to come to work with photographic evidence of what was happening in their neighbourhoods everytime they couldn’t reach a place because “halaat kharab hain.”

His team did come up with news from the city, which Dubash started putting up on a Facebook group he called ‘Halaat Updates’.

The group was made at a time when Karachi was particularly volatile and every other day there was news of a strike or violence in some part of the city. Dubash himself didn’t realize the need for such a group and the impact it may have on people. But given the times Karachiites were living in, soon enough the group grew much greater than what it was initially meant for – his own team – and it became the go-to place to get “halaat” updates from not only Karachi but around Pakistan.

Created in September 2012, the page now has over 250,000 followers. Taking a life of its own, the group became a place that demanded accountability from public service providers. There have been instances of people reporting incidents of mobile or car snatching and have had the police take notice and recover their belongings.

VCast Online met Pooya Dubash to listen to the story of Halaat Updates and when he realised its true impact.

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