No end to miseries of Tharis

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DEATH and deprivation continues to haunt Tharparkar district despite commitments made both by federal and provincial governments to provide basic amenities of life to the ill fated people. According to latest reports at least ten infants have died at the Civil Hospital Mithi during the past two days raising this year’s infant mortality death toll to 148.
The heads of our political leadership who miss no opportunity to malign their opponents should hang their heads in shame over the unending miseries of the people of Tharparkar. We believe the situation in the area is far worse as is being reported in the media as health officials working in Thar’s hospitals have stopped sharing information with the media ever since the Chief Justice of Pakistan took suo motu notice of increasing number of children deaths. Even if we go by the death toll of 148, the figure itself raises many questions regarding the state of health facilities in the desert region. Despite one of the poorest of Pakistan’s 120 districts, Thar is far more diverse than other parts, which in fact makes the region a perfect place to attract tourism. This can only be done if right kind of interventions is made to mitigate the sufferings of local people. Responsibility lies with provincial government to take steps for improving health care facilities and provision of clean drinking water to the area besides helping the locals stand on their own feet to address the issue of malnutrition. It should develop a monitoring system in order to check any corruption in execution of these projects. While similar climatic conditions are also prevalent on the Indian side of the desert, a canal network has been developed to make their desert more fertile and hospitable. We will urge provincial government to take requisite steps to end the miseries of locals and take advantage of the rich diversity of the area.