A visit to Thar


Last week few journalists were invited by the DUA foundation to visit Thar and see how
Few dedicated persons are helping the poor people of Thar where availability of water is a distant dream what to talk about the proper food for men, women and children.The total population of district thar is 1.4 million while the cattle population is around eighty thousands.The main source of income is agriculture, but because of drought and less rain fall, the crop failure is common phenomenon., but when rain lashes, the agriculture production increases manifold.and so the income of the Thar people,.However besides agriculture the cattles are also great source of livelihhood and food. The area which we visited is called tehsel deli which is badly affected because of drought.The dua foundation with the help of philanthropist settled abroad has dug more than five hundred wells where sweet drinking water is available both for drinking purposes as well for agriculture .The cultivation is managed through drip methods, very common in Europe and usa. However the area which we visited is badly affected because of sever and long drought as I wrote earlier.The death of new born children and the mother is very common.Ony this year around two hundred children have died because of non availability of proper medical facilities.The district hospital at Mithi has been providing medical aid but lacks proper management as well equipments.I aked Dr Faiyaz Alam why such a large number of children and mothers die? He said mostly because of malnutrition during pregnancy, as mothers do not get proper vitmanised food as the pregnant women get in the cities, hence the new born is weak and so the mothers , since there is no proper medical care during the birth or during pregnancy, both mother and child die.The mortality rate is very high in Thar.However if proper food and medical facilities are available the mortality rate of new born babies and mothers can be reduced and controlled.To my mind extreme poverty is yet another cause of malnutrition prevalent in the region as the local people cannot afford good food.They mostly eat bread with onion and green chillies, which hardly provides much needed vitamins.for the proper growth of mind and body. The girl child suffer hugely because of malnutrition.However Sindh health department has huge funds , the present health minister enjoy good reputation, she can take tangible measures about the health facilities in district thar to improve the existing situation. We are putting our efforts to bring about the change in some areas as well empowering the local population in some selected areas where water scarcity is threatening the life of human beings as well of livestockHowever I may add here that we want to make the people independent especially where we are working.we are also providing solar energy to be used for domestic purposes as well for cultivation.To empower local people is a tall order and needs sustain efforts to change their attitude towards life which we are doing but lack of funds arrest our efforts.However we will continue to support the oppressed people of thar by creating friendly and humanel conditions so that they can feel the change and initiate their own program to further push the socio economic change.
The local population is very happy with the work of DUA,, when I engaged them to know their opinion.they said in one voice that we are grateful for the efforts they are taking to help us, they come from Karachi for us to alleviate our sufferings and reduce poverty. We pray for their long and healthy life.