Water scarcity is a daunting challenge for the people of Thar. The largest desert of Pakistan is located in the south-east. Its population is nearly 1.6 million, with the lowest Human Development Index(HDI) in Sindh province. Similarly, they face not only water scarcity but also food shortage, energy crisis, agricultural backwardness and inadequate infrastructure as well. Unfortunately, they are amid all evils, crises, and issues. They travel 4-5 km for the sake of gaining water from underground and wells for drinking and domestic purposes. It is an alarming stage. Water is an essential element for the survival for living organisms, for the agriculture purpose and also for the production of electricity. Consequently, the government is paying no attention to this unbridled growth of this crisis.
As a result, there is a huge difference between demand and supply of different necessities of life. Fortunately, the Thar is blessed with precious natural resources but improper use of these resources further aggravate the situation. It is worth mentioning here that the Basic Principles of Economics is ‘resources are a scarce and efficient use of these resources should be adapted so that these can bring happiness to human beings.’
Moreover, they are deprived of basic rights due to certain reasons. Resources of the Thar are mainly depended upon rainfalls. Rainfalls are considered to be the backbone of Thar’s prosperity and bring happiness among people. So, agriculture production is in direct relationship with rainfall.
In the same way, lack of reservoirs, political instability, mismanagement, disunity among people, low rainfall, overpopulation and overconsumption are the major culprits in this regard. Rainfall is limited in this desert that’s why Thar is running dry.
Saltwater lakes within the Thar Desert include the Sambhar, Kuchaman, Didwana, Pachpadra and Phalodi in Rajasthan and Kharaghoda in Gujarat. So, it can be said that due to the ignorance of the government, Thar has touched the lowest ebb of destruction.
The Sindh government’s proposed USD 33 million projects in 2015 that 750 Reverse malnutrition and disease.
According to a report on April 16, 2019, over 505 children died in Thar in 2018, 450 in 2017; 479 in 2016 and 398 in 2015 respectively. These are the signs of future destruction.
People are unable to get a quality education. There are abject poverty and instability. The standard of their lives is going down.
Without surface water infrastructure and in the aftermath of consistently ineffective government schemes, the most practical way to help Tharis is constructing a canal from the Sindh district of Umerkot to Islamkot in Tharparkar.
The government should make long term as well as short term plans for curtailing water crisis by introducing new dams and reservoirs.
In the short term, most of the dams are under construction, so, that should have accomplished as soon as possible. Besides that, in the long term, the state should introduce new small dams for the utter of water shortage.
Currently, experts say the construction of a canal is possible and would be a welcome step in addressing the plight of the Thari people, infighting and apathy from political parties make its realisation difficult.
In the same fashion, disunity among those people is the backbone of their destruction. This archaic character has preyed them to deprivations of basic rights.
Thai women have made a record with their excellent turnout in the 2018 general elections and emerged as those with the highest voter turnout ratios across Pakistan in the history.
The rain-dependent region of Thar has 574,333 are registered voters among them 254,522 are women voters.
Hence, it can be said that indigenous Thari leader can bring happiness by leaps and bounds after paying concentration over curbing social crises.
Likewise, the state must ponder over sufficient use of natural resources. It can build an economically strong and great region.
Submitted By Rahib Ali Rind