The Effects of COVID-19 in Tharparkar
Written by: Mir Murtaza Rathor
Living in a place commonly known as a “drought area”, the people of Tharparkar face unending problems. Survey data shows that three-fourths of the population of the district is poverty-afflicted and malnourished. The infant mortality rate is much higher than in other districts. Even water itself has been an issue for so many years, due to dry weather.
The entire Tharparkar district is facing water shortage owing to the lack of routine rains, and underground water not being suitable for drinking. Since 2013-14 Tharparkar has consistently been facing a drought-like situation, and the youth of the district has no choice but to work in urban areas, like Karachi and Hyderabad, to financially support their families as resources remain unavailable.
As the regular trials of the district persisted, it was faced with a new problem: the Coronavirus, which made its way to Pakistan and 205 other countries. When the virus had affected 300 people in Sindh, the Sindh Government took a step forward and announced a strict lockdown in the whole province. Owing to the lockdown, industries such as garment factories have been shut down, resulting in people of Tharparkar working in the urban areas having no choice left but to return home.
Furthermore, the remaining people of the district who worked as businessmen, or managed small retail shops, have also had to stop working due to the enforcement of lockdown in Tharparkar as well. The daily wagers are now unemployed, with no source of income remaining except by the help of Almighty Allah. Given the present circumstances – which are sometimes indescribable, or horrific to express in words – the people of Tharparkar are living their lives only at the mercy of Allah.