Exploit tourism potential of Thar

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REPORTS of deaths caused by drought, disease and malnutrition in Thar, make one believe that the area is some haunted place where only death reigns – something that is not absolutely true as the other face of the desert featuring fertile land and picturesque magical landscapes is awesome and needs to be exploited to the advantage of local people.
Indeed the callous indifference of successive governments has kept Tharparkar one of the poorest districts of Sindh where we have seen deaths of women and children occurring due to lack of basic amenities. But this is an area which is not only immensely rich in natural resources such as coal but also carries many attractions such as historical places, temples etc. for the tourists. Most recently a group of activists visited the desert area and were amazed to see the change brought in the ambience by recent rains as everybody from peasants to herders there were happy over the downpours and subsequent germination of traditional crops and grasses. Uploading of green face of Thar on social media by the activists prompted other people to throng the area on the occasion of Eid ul Azha. Despite several picnic spots in Thar, it is deplorable that people of the area even in the 21st century have no reliable and permanent source of water as well as other facilities. If we look towards the other side of the desert owned by India, we come to know that they have turned their desert area into one of the most popular destinations for both domestic and international tourists. We can also turn our Thar into a tourist spot by launching sustainable programmes and bringing some structural changes in health, education and other departments, which mitigate the unending miseries of Tharis. Renovation of trembling historical places as well as organizing cultural festivals and car rallies will also help showcase the good face of Thar to the world.