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BADO JABAL: Unveiling Picturesque Sindh…
By: HAMEED DIPLAI
Love and hospitality; these are two significant signs by which Sindhi people can be recognized. The land of Sindh is full with colors and contrasts. Unique culture, customs, traditions, affections, music, folk wisdom, huge reservoirs of minerals, rivers, seashores, mountains, sand dunes, deserts, agricultural patches and living style makes Sindh different from other part of the country. This beauty and richness at the same time is tragedy of Sindh. Due to this beauty and richness Sindh is being pricks as a throne in the eyes of strong lobbies of power corridors so far Sindh has been ignored in term of development priorities including infrastructure development, education and healthcare services since partition. Not only this, Sindh has been overlooked to develop tourist spots at pleasant locations and Archaeological sites. There are many places which are propagated as insecure and unsafe places to visit. These historical sites were deliberately handed over to dacoits who made these sites inaccessible for common people and tourists. Hundreds sites exists in Sindh which can be made attractive points for tourists but ignored due to so-called security reasons. Can one believe that Gorakh Hills are one of the highest peaks in Sindh (5500 ft) where people can find chilly atmosphere even in June and July? This is really fantastic place but ignored in every government. Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif visited Gorakh Hills in person during their regimes and announced its development but all words went in van. Despite hundreds promises, Gorakh Hills are not in easy access yet. Bado Jabal (Mountain) is another peek of Khirthar range that separates Sindh province from Balochistan province. Khirthar range has provided the natural geographical distribution for the two provinces. Bado Jabal has a great importance due to its high altitude and ideal location. It is most suitable location for construction of hill station. Bado Jabal has a form of a large plateau is approximately 3250 ft high above mean Sea Level (Some people says its’ height is 3500 ft). Due to which it has a suitable and pleasant climate for healthy environment. The weather at the hill in summer is very pleasant, with moderate temperatures during the day, dropping to slightly chilly at night. In winter, however, the temperature goes down to almost 0 degree centigrade. Ariel view of Bado presents a beautiful view of a valley. The area is surrounded by arid mountains with small green pastures at certain points. Bado Jabal is also famous for availability of Unani plants called Paneer.
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Bado Jabal is situated at a distance of 60 kilometers in South West of Sehwan Sharif town. From the administrative point of view, Bado Jabal lies within the jurisdiction of Union Council Jhangara, Taluka Sehwan, and District Jamshoro. The site is accessible from Karachi via Sehwan Sharif. Sehwan Sharif is about 137 kilometers away from Jamshoro. The Indus highway from Jamshoro to Sehwan Sharif is in very good condition. One can enjoy the pleasant drive on this scenic route with the Indus River flowing on the right and a view of the barren mountains on the left. Though, road conditions from Sehwan Sharif towards Bado Jabal are not in good conditions but one can easily drive the car onwards top of the mountain. Further in south, a network of jeep-able track connects the deep area of hills with black top road. During the rainy season, various streams of water can be observed flowing throughout the area. Every footstep at Bado Jabal is scenic and one can enjoy the romance of chilly winds. But such a pleasant and beautiful location which can be constructed as hill station but however is unnoticed in priority list of state. It has scattered tribal communities living over the top of the mountain and in surrounding valleys. The communities living in and around Bado Jabal are Gaincho, Sehtani, Shahani, and Chutto. Majority of inhabitants of Bado are helpless to lead a nomadic life due to harsh survival conditions and settled in temporary huts made by stones. They have to walk on foot for miles on rocky tracks for their daily chores and in search of one time meal. Survival under these conditions defies imagination and is as much a testament to the resilience and strength of the inhabitants as to the neglect of these communities. Local communities depend on livestock and rain-fed agriculture. Most households own camels and herds of sheep and goats. Women have to walk miles every day in search of firewood and fetching drinking water because there is a sever shortage of water in the areas. Scarcity of potable water is common phenomena at and around Bado Jabal because there are no streams or water channels and rivers exist at Bado. The Naing Nai (River) which is a seasonal river lies to the west of Bado. It originates to the southwest of the Bado in Khirthar Mountain runs north parallel to Bhit and Bado Jabal. Communities living at this peek do not have any other source of getting fresh water but they usually collect and store potable water through rainwater, and 60 to 70 ft deep open wells. Some natural springs are also found in Bado Jabal range which is also an important source of drinking water for both local communities and livestock as well. But as hot days begins, water in such sources dry out and people hardly find a single drop of water from such sources and a severe shortage occurred on Mountain. This is only the reason inhabitants of Bado lead a nomadic life.
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Almost entire population of Bado Jabal is illiterate and educational situation presents a dismal picture and literacy is negligible. Almost all adults – men and women – in the area are illiterate. Existing Government School building at top of the Jabal is being operated by Sindh Police as Radio Room. Due to height of mountain, radio room can receive signals and control the messages from various Districts of Sindh even Dadu, Jamshoro, Nawabshah, Noshehro Feroz, Thatta, Mirpurkhas and Badin. Now a local NGO based in Jhangara has opened community primary schools at Bado where parents are keenly enrolling their children. Initially this school is running in stone-made huts provided by local communities. Healthcare is also equally poor. Although government-sponsored child immunization teams periodically visit the area but a permanent health facility does not exit at Bado Jabal. Patients with serious ailments go to Jhangara, Sehwan and Hyderabad for medical care. Many spend their whole life without seeing a medical professional. Keeping in view pleasant environment of Bado Jabal, Government of Sindh initiated various projects at Bado during the tenure of late Abdullah Shah. Late Abdullah Shah during his tenure as Chief Minister (1993-1996) took personal efforts to develop Bado Jabal as tourist point as this area was his constituency. Late Abdullah Shah was planning to setup “Bado Benazir” Taluka (An administrative unit of District) @ Bado Jabal. Village Jhangara was planned to establish as Taluka headquarter in hot days while Bado Jabal in chilly days. In regard with this planning, Provincial Government acquired land at Bado to construct revenue offices. Bado was connected with Jhangara and Sehwan through a road network. Government of Sindh approved establishing Chest Diseases Hospital, Police Training Center, Power Supply, Housing Scheme and Water Supply Scheme to local residents of Bado Jabal. Late Abdullah Shah inaugurated construction work on Chest Diseases Hospital and Police Training Center. Establishment of Police Training Center for 3000 police cadet and setup Police posts at and around Bado Jabal was aimed to provide a safe and secure location to patients, tourists and local inhabitants as well. So far, building of infrastructure of Chest Diseases Hospital and Police Training Center initiated and completed almost 75% work and left incompletely in half as Government dissolved. Similarly, 200 to 300 two-room concrete houses were planned to construct to setup permanent settlements for Bado communities who were leading a nomadic life but only 05 houses could be built up. Infrastructure at this time is presenting the view of ruins.
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Likewise, Pak Rs. 25.407 millions for Water Supply Scheme for Bado Jabal was approved in July 1994. Later scheme was modified and cost also revised from Pak Rs. 25.407 millions to 79.579 millions on April 12, 1996. According to revised approved scheme, 6” Dia G.1 pipes 54,000 ft in length was laid from tube well @ Bandhni area to the top of Bado Jabal which consisting on 02 Booster Pumping Stations but major work on scheme could not be started and scheme remained abounded since 1996-97 to date. Since Abdullah Shah Regime came to end, no development is seen on these projects and a huge amount spent uselessly on infrastructure. Though, Mr. Liaqat Jatoi visited the area as Federal Minister in Musharraf Regime and committed to kickoff the work but promises could not be made true. People of Bado Jabal being a respectable citizen of beloved country ought to have quality education services, adequate healthcare and availability of fresh water at doorstep. Completion of these projects/schemes will retain people at homes. Provincial Ministry of Planning & Development is suggested to take a role to restart edifice on Chest Diseases Hospital, Water Supply Scheme and Police Training Center. District and Taluka Government of Jamshoro and Sehwan respectively are suggested handy administrative units of ministry to complete these projects on immediate basis. Provincial Minister Murad Ali Shah is supposed to take a lead role in resuming these projects as these schemes were dream of his late father Abdullah Shah. More to the point, as human and vehicular traffic will be increased, local people will have opportunity to set own businesses and get enough substance to uplift their lifestyle. Not only this, but these projects will be caused to unveil a picturesque location for day-trippers and tourists and those who can not manage to pay an expensive visit to Muree. In addition, Provincial Ministry of Tourism and Culture needs to discover such overlooked locations in Sindh and promote properly as safe and secure sites to be visited. Appropriate and accurate presentation of scenic locations and historical places will portray an image of Sindh as a peaceful and picturesque territory as well. Please check relevant photos by clicking link below.