Introduction to Thar
Tharparkar District is one of the twenty-nine districts of Sindh province in Pakistan. It is the largest district of Sindh province by land area. It is headquartered at Mithi. It has the lowest Human Development Index of all the districts in Sindh.
Muslims constituted 59% of the population and the Hindus 41% of the district’s population.
People here depend on rearing animals and growing crops but Thar experiences frequent periods of severe drought. During protracted drought periods many families move to barrage areas (adjacent to canals) for survival. Many fall into debt and have to sell their animals for low prices or seek employment in towns far from their homes. They have almost nothing. No access to health care, or schools, or transport. Food is always in short supply.
Water Scarcity and Women
Thar women walk miles every day to fetch water from the nearest well. Getting access to life’s most basic need is anything but easy. “My legs are sore, my back hurts, and I’m always in pain.” One woman complained. “I’ve been fetching water since I was seven years old.”
A woman has to fetch and carry water even she is pregnant. There is no escape from it. Many old Thar women have walked more than 100,000 kilometres in their life just to access the drinking water.