Famine stalks Sindh area in Pak, 160 dead

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by kseeker, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    ISLAMABAD: The death toll from famine in Pakistan's Hindu-dominated Tharparkar district has mounted to 160. More deaths are feared as two to three children are reported dead daily due to malnutrition and related diseases.

    The region in Sindh, which forms part of the bigger Thar Desert spread across a vast area in Pakistan and India, has been reeling under drought since December. But the government failed to take notice of the situation until the media highlighted its gravity.

    The provincial government maintains around 70 people have died, but reliable independent sources contest the figure and put it at 160.

    "The deaths are mostly caused by pneumonia, diarrhea, meningitis, neonatal sepsis and pre-mature deliveries," said district hospital medical superintendent Dr Jalil. He said his 76-bed hospital is treating around 300 famished people.

    The calamity has forced thousands to migrate to other parts of Sindh. It has further killed livestock and forced famine-stricken people to sell the surviving ones at throwaway prices to buy food.

    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif rushed to Tharparkar last week along with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari whose Pakistan People's Party (PPP) rules the province and has drawn flak for mishandling the situation. He announced Rs one billion package for the region and directed federal government officials to monitor the situation.

    Drought is a regular phenomenon in the desert area and occurs every two to three years. But this time it has been very severe.

    Officials said the government has to warn people about drought-like situation and provide wheat and fodder on subsidized rates if the region does not receive three spells of monsoon rains before August 16. But the situation worsened since the Sindh government did not take any timely action.

    Journalist Shakir Solangi described the situation as an administrative disaster. "The negligence of concerned authorities caused the grim situation and multiplied the woes of downtrodden masses of the deprived area," he said.

    Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who has come under fire, has sacked a provincial minister and top officials for negligence after the Supreme Court took suo moto notice of the situation.

    Residents blame the provincial government for the tragedy. "While children were dying in large numbers in Thar, the provincial government, under the leadership of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, was celebrating the Sindh cultural festival last month,'' analyst Naz Sahito told TOI from Tharparkar's main city of Mithi.

    "Over half a billion rupees were spent on the festival aiming to build a political image for Bilawal. If a slight portion of that amount was diverted to Thar, the situation could have been controlled.''

    Tharparkar is spread over 22,000 sq km and has a population of about 1.5 million, majority of whom (52%) are Hindu belonging to Meghwar scheduled caste.

    Famine stalks Sindh area in Pak, 160 dead - The Times of India
     
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  3. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    @kseeker please do more search. Thar Hindus are most vulnerable, and they are being left out from famine relief.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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  4. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Thar's Hindu minority restricted to weak food supplies


    ISLAMABAD- There have been gross allegations of discrimination against minorities, even in relief commodities dispatched by the Federal government for drought-hit Thar's region of Mithi.

    According to sources bulk of commodities dispatched to Thar include meat products, which are religiously prohibited for the majority Hindu religion, which form in Thar.

    The unfortunate Hindus have been restricted to small portions of lentils (pulses), which is an insufficient source of whetting appetites, while vegetables which are strong source of building immune system have been ignored.

    Medical and nutrition experts and chief coordinator of relief services Arbab Ghulam Rahim have also termed this prohibition of meat by Hindu community as the chief cause of Thar's horrific famine, since many Hindu citizens are said to have fallen ill from continuous consumption of lentils.

    PPP's parliamentarian Ramesh Lal has said that about 2 million Hindus of Thar were suffering due to lack of access to relief goods arriving in Thar. He said though the Sindh government is trying is best to facilitate the Thar people; however, it could not succeeded as it should be.

    Thar's Hindu minority restricted to weak food supplies
     
  5. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    RIP :(

    It is quite shamefull that PPP KHUSRA Billo Zardari who is the chief there spent 500 million on his image building during two festivals while children were dieing.
    Shame on us!!!

    Army is there now pleading one day's ration and GoP has launched a 1 billion rupee relief programme.
    Unfortunately way too late for the weakest. Death toll is expected to rise above 500 due viral deseases and poor sanitation and mal nutrition.
    My cousin who's a doctor has reached the area, the pics he sent me are indeed....no words for it :cry:

    It's the worst drought since many years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  6. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    only when this news comes in media.

    BTW y not gazi army send their doctors to treat people
    and eng to dig tube well and hand pump
     
  7. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    Gazi and mohibbewatan mighty army is just doing that affer recieving orders and clearance from Islamabad.
    Volunteering doctors are arriving from all over the country.
     
  8. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    Pakistan Army, in a press release, has said that it will donate one day of its ration to the people of famine-hit Tharparkar who are in dire need of food.

    The Inter Service Public Relation (ISPR) said that the ration donated by Pakistan Army will be delivered to each village at the door steps of every affected family.

    Pakistan Army’s donation will cater 15-day needs of every affected family of Thar district, the ISPR added.
     
  9. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    MITHI- Relief teams of Pakistan Army have reached Mithi and Tharparkar to help the drought affected population.
    According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) the army teams are helping the people getting medical treatment and food. A field hospital has been established to provide healthcare to the malnourished and sick. General Officer Commanding Hyderabad Garrison Major General Inam is in the area to oversee the ongoing relief efforts.
    People in Tharparkar, the desert area of Sindh, are facing famine-like situation in most of the areas where at least 32 malnourished children are reported to have died owing to food shortage. At least 193 children have died in Thar over the past three months.
    Following the notice taken by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Justice of Pakistan, the Sindh government admitted to their negligence. Nawaz Sharif took serious notice of the deaths of children in Thar, Sindh. The Prime Minister directed National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to immediately get in touch with authorities in Sindh and provide all possible aid and assistance.
    Meanwhile, Sindh government has announced a package of one hundred million rupees for the drought hit areas of Tharparkar district. The announcement was made by the Chief Minister after a high level meeting in Karachi today.
    Meanwhile, the Sindh government has refused to accept all kinds of assistance and aid from Punjab government.

    http://www.nation.com.pk/national/0...hi-tharparkar-to-help-drought-affected-people
     
  10. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    advisor to chief minister sindh

    [​IMG]


    chief minister sindh

    [​IMG]



    100 million PKR:lol::lol::lol::lol:
     
  11. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ghazi-e-Hind Pakistan Army’s donation will cater 15-day needs of every affected family of Thar district, the ISPR added.

    When it comes to reality, its the Army which cares more for our people than corrupt goverment.
     
  12. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    good work by army but more to be done

    example send their Engg. to dig deep tube wells and hand pump.

    setting up 15 day camp will not serve the purpose

    BTW

    what is the different between Gazwa-a-hind and Gazi-a-hind.

    When will Gazwa -a-hind happen??? iam dying to hear radio pakistan from delhi red fort:lol::lol:
     
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  13. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    Good to hear that.

    BTW, does PA have Hindu soldiers? are they even allowed to join Pakistani Army?
     
  14. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    [​IMG]
    People affected by famine await food aid in Sindh province, Pakistan. The government response to the crisis has been criticised by NGOs. Photograph: Rehan Khan/EPA

    NGOs in Pakistan say the death of at least 132 children in a drought in Sindh province might have been avoided had the government responded sooner. As government aid begins to arrive in the area, local activists have linked the crisis to long-term failures to provide proper health care and infrastructure in the region.

    The deaths occurred in the Thar desert, part of Tharparkar district, some 350km (200 miles) from Karachi, which runs up to the border with India.

    Local organisations working with some of the poorest people in the area claim many of those affected by the drought are members of the Dalit caste. Known in Pakistan as the scheduled class, Dalits suffer heavy discrimination under the caste system common across south Asia.

    According to the Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN), "animals started dying in the desert in October last year but the government didn't act until reports of children dying in the Mithi taluka hospital."

    Hospital sources told the media last week that 38 children died of malnutrition in the Mithi taluka hospital in December. There were more deaths in the first three months of 2014, including those of three children on Monday.

    The chief minister of Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, has ordered an inquiry into the delay in distributing relief to people in Tharparkar.

    The severe drought was caused by below average rainfall during last year's monsoon season. However, some experts believe there are deeper, structural reasons for the severe malnutrition suffered in the region. "Malnutrition is not just limited to Tharparkar, the situation in the entire Sindh province is alarming," says Arif Jabbar Khan, Oxfam's country director for Pakistan. "57% of children under the age of five are stunted and 72% of households are food insecure."

    When rainfall is below average, the region usually recieves subsidised food and animal fodder by August. This time, however, the chief minister did not begin relief efforts until November.

    On a visit to the drought-hit area, Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister, announced a 1 billion Pakistani rupee aid package (£6.15m) and ordered an investigation into corruption in wheat distribution.

    The remote district, which has a population of about 1.5 million people, consists of more than 2,000 small villages. Health infrastructure is poor and there are few road links to more developed parts of Pakistan. Poverty is high and food scarce.

    Javed Jabbar, the founder of Baanhn Beli, a non-governmental organisation that has been working in Tharparkar since 1985, believes there should be a non-partisan inquiry into the failure to react more quickly to signs of the building crisis: "Elected representatives must be held responsible for not reporting to the chief minister."

    He believes a lack of investment in health in the region is partly to blame for the deaths, pointing to long-standing vacancies in government-run hospitals and rural centres. "The Nawabshah Medical College is an all women's college, and yet there are just a handful of female doctors working in Nagarparkar. I think those who study medicine should be made to sign a bond that after completion of their studies they will serve in these difficult areas, especially women. The root cause of this crisis is maternal health which has a direct bearing on the infant health."

    "Malnutrition is not a new or sudden phenomenon, and neither is drought, but it had remained under the radar for too long," says Dr DS Akram, a paediatrician who has been working in the region since the 1990s.

    Oxfam say that there is no shortage of food. According to Khan, "Missing public policy action and persistent economic inequalities are the main causes of malnutrition, which – if not addressed – may aggravate the situation in future in the entire province."

    Campaigners are concerned that lack of long-term development in the area has a disproportionate impact on the Dalit community. Because of the remote nature of the affected region, it is difficult to know with complete certainty how many have died. The PDSN's Dr Sono Khangarani believes the true number may be as high as 190: "Not everyone brought their children to the hospital, one cannot give an exact figure. But since most deaths are of children belonging to the poorest of the poor, one can conclude the children belong to Dalits."

    Drought in the wider area is not a recent phenomenon. There have been periods where there has been insufficient rains for several years in a row. In 2010 floods hit the Sindh region, part of a pattern of extreme weatherseen across Pakistan in recent years.

    The Sindh region, like the rest of Pakistan, faces environmental uncertainty. Even 15 years ago, experts were warning that persistent drought in Pakistan was shrinking the country's GDP because of poor agricultural performance. Last summer, leading meteorologists warned that the country can expect longer, more intense and more frequent weather events in the future.

    On Tuesday evening, the Sindh government changed the brief of the relief and revenue minister Makhdoom Jamiluz Zaman. He will continue as revenue minister only. Taj Haider, a senior Pakistan People's Party leader, is now the relief commissioner.

    Pakistan drought: government accused over child deaths in Sindh province | Global development | theguardian.com
     
  15. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes, there are a few Hindus and Sikhs serving with PA since 2006.
    Christians however have done much better specially in Air Force amd Army.
     
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  16. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    Pak army recruits first Hindu cadet
    PTI | Sep 25, 2006

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army has recruited a Hindu for the first time in its nearly 60-year-old history, months after it commissioned a Sikh youth. Danesh formally donned army colours at a parade on Saturday along with fellow recruits.

    Danesh, who hails from Tharparker in rural Sindh bordering Rajasthan, said he was inspired by Pakistan president General Pervez Musharraf to join the forces.

    "President Musharraf has all the qualities that a great leader should possess,"he was quoted as saying in te state-run APP agency.

    To a question, he said "It is my country, and I would serve it to the best of my capabilities and energy to bring a good name to it."

    "We live here as brothers. It never occurred to my mind that I belonged to a religion other than Islam,"he said.

    Minorities in Pakistan are allowed to sit in all examinations, including the one conducted by Inter Services Selection Board, but only a Sikh has been selected for the army service since the country's inception. However, many Christians serve in the army.

    Harcharan Singh of Nankana Sahib became the first Sikh in the country to get into the Pakistani armed forces last December.

    Pak army recruits first Hindu cadet - TOI Mobile | The Times of India Mobile Site
     
  17. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    gulab singh the only sikh turbaned traffic constable of Lahore, left his job after his muslim colleague humiliated him by tossing his turban .

    i wonder what will happen to those hindu and sikh serving in pak fauj
     
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  18. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    History will repeat itself in Pakistan’s drought region, experts warn - The Times of India

    MITHI, Pakistan: As the death toll from the latest outbreak of poverty-driven diseases in Pakistan's Thar desert nears 100 children, experts are warning that corruption and a dysfunctional political system make a repeat of the disaster almost inevitable.

    The desert region in Tharparkar, one of Pakistan's poorest districts, spreads over nearly 20,000 square kilometres (7,700 square miles) in the country's southeast and is home to some 1.3 million people, including a large population of minority Hindus.

    Between March 2013 and February this year, rainfall was 30 per cent below usual, according to government data, with the worst-hit towns of Diplo, Chacro and Islamkot barely touched by a drop of water for months.

    Asif Ikram, the second most senior administration official in the district, told AFP on Thursday that the death toll from diseases such as pneumonia and meningitis since December 1 had risen to 161 people, including 97 children.

    Life in the desert is closely tied to rain-dependent crops and animals, with farmers relying on beans, wheat, and sesame seeds for survival, bartering surplus in exchange for livestock.

    The drought is not the only reason for the recent deaths — observers say they have come about as a result of endemic poverty, exacerbated by the drought and an outbreak of disease killing livestock.

    Authorities have been busy dispensing food aid and sending medics to attend to the sick following visits by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who leads the Pakistan People's Party which rules the province.

    But observers say the relief work fails to address the root causes of such disasters and warn they are likely to be repeated.

    A drought in the desert in 2000 killed 90 per cent of the livestock.

    Zafar Junejo, chief executive of Thardeep Rural Development Programme (TRDP), says the region has long been ignored by Karachi, the provincial capital, because it is not considered an important constituency politically.

    According to the last census, Hindus make up 40 per cent of the district's population, unlike most of Pakistan which is overwhelmingly Muslim, and Junejo said the authorities have little concern for the suffering of minority communities.

    "We are fortunately or unfortunately a mixed Hindu and Muslim population," he said.

    "Fortunate because we are living in peace and harmony unlike the rest of the country where radicalization is in vogue. But also unfortunate because being Hindu and being secular we do not fit in the official ideological definition of the country," he added.

    Javed Jabbar, founder of Banh Beli non-government organisation which works in the area, added: "When you have Karachi with 18 million people, Tharparkar is relatively less important from a political radar point of view."

    Jabbar, a former federal information minister, added that the district has fallen victim to "a failure to enforce accountability due to considerations of partisanship" that has afflicted the province for years.

    He cited the case of five doctors in the province who were able to keep their jobs despite being absent from their posts for years, because of connections to political patrons.

    Residents and activists say the effects of drought can be mitigated by global lessons in dry regions, such as the conservation of rainwater.

    "Rainwater harvesting should be made mandatory all over the country and especially in this part," said Abid Channa, a local social activist, complaining of the district's lack of reservoirs despite decades of disasters.

    Jairam Das, a 49-year livestock farmer who lost 10 sheep and two goats to the recent outbreak of animal disease, said he and other villagers were envious of Indian villages just a few kilometres (miles) away across the border.

    "In the bordering town of India there is greenery all around as their government has spread a network of irrigation and piped drinking water," Das said.

    "We have a similar climate but the lack of water is a major hurdle," Das said.

    On the Indian side of the border, the 400-kilometre Indira Gandhi canal through the Thar desert in the state of Rajasthan is a lifeline for isolated communities and farmers who use the water for irrigation for crops and drinking water when needed.

    Jabbar, the ex-minister, added more planning was needed ahead of droughts.

    "When you see signs in a particular year, you move supplies of fodder and nutritional supplements in advance of the drought not after it," he said.

    One positive he noted was the extensive television coverage the disaster had received, thanks to the growth of Pakistan's media, and the pressure it had applied on government to no longer ignore the area.
     
  19. ninja85

    ninja85 Regular Member

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    very technological advanced pakibeggaristan.
     
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