by Dr Ali Akbar Dhakan
Please click here to watch Thar desert and the poor conditions of people
Thar means desert, barren and full of sand and mud heaps and mountains. Its history is very old and unaccountable. It starts from Badin at the Western and Southern side from Mirpur Khas at its Northern side, At its eastern side, it is the Indian territory .The last town at the Eastern Southern side is Nangar Parkar.
The whole area of Thar is about 1200 kms. Its district HQ is Mithi, a big city in Thar . The historical place UmerKot is at its Nouthern side after MirPur Khas. Other big and important towns and villages are Chhachhro, Deeplo, Jhuddo etc. We were only hearing some stories about culture and history .At last, I along with some friends left Karachi by a van at about 3Pm.We reached at 6 Pm at Badin .Where we were informed to take Khoski Sugar Mill road at the eastern side.The road recently constructed during Arbab Rahim`s tenure as the Chief Minister of Sindh during the Dictator Musharraf`s regime. For the prime Minister ship , Mr Shaukat Aziz had been given the ticket by Muslim League Q to take part in the election and he was got elected but he held the another seat and became the Prime Minister of Pakistan having his no jurisdiction or Constituency .He tried to sell the biggest steel mill of Pakistan to his own courtiers at the cheapest price but a brave son of the soil Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, the Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan cancelled this contract by his judicious decision and saved the national asset from his malicious and malafide intention. We took the straight Road and reached at Mithi at 9Pm in the night. Nothing was clear in the dark night and we could not enjoy the road side of Thar area. Our Hindu friends had arranged our stay at their village Barach about 27 Kms away from Mithi towards the east. Jhaman Das s/o Chando took us to his village. His father and their other relatives were awaiting our arrival. They took us to their peculiar house made of mud and straws. It was strange thing for us to see the houses and their living pattern. At the courtyard of their houses, there was sand and mud and some bushes around their houses. They stated their pattern and culture of living and told all the facts of danger of Snakes particularly during rainy season when they come out from their wholes and run on the roads and courtyards of their houses. They have been habitual of seeing different types of Snakes and try to kill them .Some times they bite them and die if they could not be injected of the particular medicine meant for bite of snakes. However, we were afraid of such circumstances and repented to live night at the suburban place later. We were taken to well-established guest house built with cemented bricks. We took meals dinner at 1 am which was totally new for us as it was prepared by local vegetables etc. We did not enjoy but we ate some food of bajar and maze. We passed the night in the courtyard under the open sky and enjoyed the cool breeze the whole night .In the early morning at 6 am, we saw many peacocks and enjoyed to see their dance spreading their colorful blue, black and golden feathers. Particularly the male peacocks spread feathers and female had no such feathers. The hosts were very much happy to honor us with their hospitality and told stories about their breeding. They said that when the male peacock spreads its feathers and start dancing, his eyes go to its feet which look very ugly and the male start weeping. The drops of weeping of male are picked by the female and drinks which gives reason of breeding and eggs are given by the female which they hid them in the bushes and mud heaps and then they sit on eggs and after some weeks , eggs are naturally opened and small birds come out which grow under their care and afterwards, they become and grew as male and female peacocks. After taking baths we took breakfast and went along the road to Nagar Parkar about 75 kms away from barach village. We saw the natural beauty of Thar a barren place having only heaps of sand and local bushes. From Barach Village at 15 kms, a big old town namely Islamkot came and we took tea there and then we crossed Marvi well at about 30 kms . We saw the Marvi well from where she had been abducted by Umer king of those days and took her to his house at umerkot about 159 kms away from there. Then we reached Nagar Parkar after making further journey of about 50 kms where we saw the Karonjhar Mountain only the stony place. There was nothing to see and we returned to Mithi at about 2 pm. We took feathers of Peacocks from Barach Village. We then reached at UmerKot at 5 pm and visited and gave cursory look at every corner of the kot including a simple Museum built there. At Mirpur khas we reached at 7 Pm and then Via Digri and Matli reached Badin in order to attend Marriage ceremony of the son of Mr. Khan Muhammad Chandio. As we all were badly tired, so after taking some food arranged by Mr. khan Muhammad Chandio at some Hotel, we slept and took full rest in the calm atmosphere of hotel at Badin. I remembered the first day when I had been appointed as a teacher in High School Badin on 10th August 1961 and stayed on the top of some hotel. However, We left Badin at 11 am and reached Karachi at 3 Pm. We all thanked our hosts in Thar who took our care and gave us impression that all Sindhis are fond of giving respectable and honorable hospitality to their guests. They were Mr Khem Chand, Chando, Bherumal, and others .This is great lesson for those who are neglecting of the sweet culture of Sindhis. The highly deplorable condition of the people of thar made us depressed and dejected because of the fact that no Government has done or planned to get the Thar area developed which become the place of Heaven during the rainy days in summer every year. I am of the view being an economist that the Government of Pakistan should plan in the light of steps taken by Indian and Chinese Governments to make this desert and barren areas of Thar more productive and cultivated which will provide more employment to our unemployed population.