Dalit community in Pakistan is the native on this land who are accommodating themselves for the last more than 5000 years. In actual in Pakistan Hindu community is considered as in minority but in Hindus the majority is that of Dalits i.e., more than 85% of the total population of Hindus is Dalit. The evidence of their native residence can be found from the world’s ancient architecture; Moen Jo Daro. Another evidence of their native residence could be found from Mahatama Gautama Buddha (the most famous Buddhist monk); Maharaja Shidho Dhan was his father who married to a Dalit community girl of Kolhi tribe (as mentioned in Buddhism’s Holy scriptures) who gave birth to Mahatma Gautama, the history of this great budhhist leader is also many decades earlier before Chriest, whereas it is also mentioned in Hinduism’s Holy scriptures like Ramayana as Shabri Bhil and Walmake Rushi etc.
In Pakistan Dalits abode in all the five provinces of Pakistan i.e Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtoon Khuwa and Gilgit Baltistan respectively. It is found that the majority castes of Dalit abode in Sindh, Punjab is second where Dalits abode in major quantity, Balochistan is third and Khyber Pakhtoon Khuwa and Gilgit Baltistan are at last.
The majority of Dalits reside in all the following districts of Sindh:
7) Noushehro Feroz
8) Qambar nad Shahdadkot
10) Tando Allahyar
19) Benazirabad (Nawabshah)
22) Tando Mohammad Khan
Dalit students, labors, workers, advocates, teachers, drivers, social activists and some other professionals are also found in the Karachi.
The total population of Dalits as estimated in Pakistan is more than 7 million in Pakistan, out of which more than 3.5 million dwell in Sindh. 70% of them relates to agriculture workforce and the remaining 30% are laborers in Industries, Factories, working at roads on contract basis, among this 30%, a few are shopkeepers, public prosecutors, doctors, teachers, engineers and clerks etc.
Note: The above figure is estimated by the senior analysts of Dalit community whereas there is no official or authorative figure availed by the government.
The total number of Dalit castes as declared by the government of Pakistan is 42, which are named below:
1) Ad dharmi
11) Chuhroar Balmiki
13) Dagiand koli
27) Marecha/ Mareja
All the above castes are also known as Scheduled Castes, which means ‘UNTOUCHABLES’; according to Hindu methodology and they are also categorized in the lowest category of Hindu religion. This word is the world’s vilest word to make someone dejected; it’s a word which can ruin all the successive and historical records of an individual. This word can totally depress a person and it is the word which can lead someone to suicide or it’s the word which can lead a man to join some criminal activities.
Every religion of the world gives a message of peace, equality and unity. Religion and the secular thoughts teach us that “Every man and woman is equal in the eyes of Lord, no one is superior to the other and superiority does not rely on their pomp but on their creed and doings”. There few questions arise in my mind as:
1. Where are all these people who relate to several sects of religions and let them call as the preachers of their religion?
2. Where are those who abide by the laws of their religion?
3. Where are those who feel the humanity as equal?
The Royal mandate of Dalit Development Programme is to endeavor the people of Dalit community with their basic rights, health and education.
Several investigations by the members of Dalit Programme reports the following major problems we face in Pakistan:
1. Castes discrimination
2. Lack of education
3. Health facility
4. Computer and technological skills
5. Water shortage
7. Lack of labor and wage
8. Life as a prison or a servant
9. Child labor and child marriage
10. Dalit palaces and life
11. Life in peril
1. CASTES DISCRIMINATION:
The major problem of caste discrimination is mostly found in the region of Badin, Umerkot, Sanghar, Thatta and Tharparkar where a young Dalit individual or of any age cannot enter the premises of hotel or restaurant. They are first asked of where are they going and who are they? After response of relating to Dalit Caste it becomes impossible to enter premises whereas in some hotels it is possible but all the cups and pots are totally separate which is such a negative impact on the positive life of a person.
Many of the Dalits and society around people dislike this all, but they are helpless to do anything because of the landlords and other familiar personalities. Caste discrimination is an awful feeling and is so the life of Dalits is destructed to a high extent.
There are only a few private schools at Mithi in which admission for Dalit students is prohibited which is not shown clearly. They don’t clearly reject the admission of Dalit students but when any Dalit student go for admission they say we had limited seats which have reached at an end and you should apply the next year. In the same way if any student of Banya ( Brahmin or Khatri ) family goes after that Dalit student he is almost given admission in the concerned school.
In Tharparkar at Mithi there are also a few English and computer language centres where the students of upper caste family are only considered to be liable for admission and any Dalit candidate who even relates to an educated family can not get admission. Like the above scenario in district Badin Dalit children also face criticism by their landlords in the field of education. They are helpless to get admission even in government schools. Many of the government schools in villages are possessed by landlords as their go down for the seasonal production of their crops. In the remaining very few schools which are also government Dalit children are not supposed to get admission and are frankly said to go and work in the fields because according to landlords if they are given admission then who will keep and care for their land on which they have hire their parents.
Due to this entire scenario for a very long time Dalits are bound to work day and night along with their family, they even can not afford edible objects of everyday life which compels them to send their little children on some work so that they become able to lead their families even though their parents are still debtor.
In many other areas of Sindh farmers who work in agriculture sector are so poor and illiterate, due to low literacy rate they are almost cheat by their landlords in having accountability of their annual profit and loss statement.
This worst scenario is not only in above remote area but all these areas where Dalits accommodate
2; LACK OF EDUCATION:
Education is considered as the life of human being which tells us a way of how to lead the life, it tells us the difference between good and evil. It shows the way and all our stabilities which God has gifted us, Dalits are being made ignore of it. Dalits are deprived of the lit of education.
As it is mentioned earlier that 70% of our community relates to agriculture workforce, their majority have desire to aware their children with the lit of education but are helpless. Whenever they join a landlord and show a good performance then their landlords desire them to keep with them but do not give them their annual or semi-annual savings completely therefore farmers run away and leave them. In this way changing from one place to another leave their children’s study incomplete, whereas in some areas the children of Dalits are admitted because our few students and professionals are on high posts.
It is analyzed by the senior analysts of Dalit community that due to drought condition in Tharparkar more than 42% of total population leave their nests in the search of food which is a big ratio and is not found in any other region of the world.
Many of the active social organizations are no doubt working for the betterment of their future but many of the other real problems are still not explored by them which could only be examined when we lead the life of real Dalit in their locality or concerned region.
3. HEALTH FACILITY:
Those major areas where Dalits live in majority are as poor in health facility as you may take example of two districts: Umerkot and Tharparkar. Umerkot is a beautiful city which is famous for its ancient glory of the fort of Umer in which King Umar made Marvi of Thar as detainee. In this region majority is of Jogi, Kolhi, Bhil, Odh, Kalal, Barar, Wagri, Sansi, Dhed, Menghwar, Meghwar Dalit but due to poor health facility many women die during their pregnancy while giving birth to their children. In this way these little babies (future of the nation) becomes orphan and no one take care of them, they not only become deprive of their mother but all the facilities of the world because in this society there is no one who care like their original mother. Whereas Tharparkar has its own charm and beauty provided by creature of the world, its fields are so beautiful that its look like a heaven on earth; full time greenery, working women and men, cloudy weather is all such a nice experience. It is also famous for the hosting purpose of its locality i.e., everyone is ready to sacrifice their life for an unknown man who talks to them kindly, it has many ancient places, Gori Jo Mandir (Temple of Gori), Bhodisar Masjid (Bodhisar Mosque), Bhodisar Mandir (Bhodisar Temple) Sardhra Mandir (Sardhra Temple). A great unity of the love of their residence is the combination of Mosque and Temple which are so close to each other; Temple at Sardhra has its own charm. There are for sub-division of this district i.e., Mithi, Diplo, Chhachhro, Nagarparkar in these sub-division the castes residing are Kolhi, Bhil, Meghwar, Nat, Dhed, Menghwar, Sapela, Kalal etc. In this district more than 6 million Dalits abode but there is only one Civil Hospital which is at Mithi, almost all of their cases of snake biting, abdomen problem, appendix, pregnancy etc are transferred there form other sub divisions and then to Mirpurkhas and Hyderabad. There has forever been lack of health facility in these most backward areas. Due to lack of hospitals their women are given birth to their children by the native resident women (old woman; commonly known as daai) of their area who are old, Sometimes due to their mistakes women or child 1 dies and the other save. Dalits are known as the poorest community in Pakistan. They work day and night and then become able for food so how is it possible for them to admit their women or children in known hospitals for their health. Another case which is found there is of snake-biting, this is a deserted land so snake or other reptiles sometimes bite them, with hard efforts when they move to civil hospital Mithi then their cases are forwarded to other cities due to lack of medicine, fever, abdomen pain etc and for any emergency response; for this huge group of individuals there is only one blood bank which is so poor to provide blood to poor Dalit or other poor people but is able to provide blood for free to some known personalities with full course of medicine, beds are also short for patients and there is no facility for the parents of patients who come with them and sleep there. Technological machines for the testing of several diseases are also not available so that many of them have to move to some other district like Mirpurkhas or Hyderabad where these testing machines are available.
Active social organizations of the world and the country no doubt trying its best for the betterment of human kind, whereas small Dalit children and disciples can also easily be found to carry some kind of luggage on their back or feeding their livestock in the sun or all the day. Some of the children also play some kind of traditional games to pass their time or life.
4) COMPUTER AND TECHNOLOGICAL SKILLS;
Computer and technological skills plays an important role in the society and the society is understood as vulnerable without these skills. The region of Tharparkar is considered as the most backward region where even today no complete electricity or telecommunication could reach so far. It has been disturbing that it’s a time when the world has touched great successes and technologies and we are even deprived of electricity, which are the basic need of life and the only source of technology. It has been more than 6 decades since the independence of Pakistan and Dalits are even unaware of their basic rights.
The situation of many villages in Tharparkar is so worst. People even many times can not get food to eat and sleep without eating anything. I bow their tolerance and salute them. I have read once “Death in all its shapes is hateful to unhappy man, but the worst death is from hunger”.I have seen this situation in my childhood and a few year earlier. It feels shocking to see that people often only take lunch and dinner and sometimes only dinner.
In the region of Tharparkar people are even unaware of the technology of mobile or computer; other technologies are no doubt hundred of years away from their imagination.
Parents of most of Dalit disciples (students) try their best to let their children learn in the popular schools, colleges and universities but because they get their early education from their villages they become totally unaware to the computer and several other devices which are considered common in that society, there is also lack of these teachers who may make them aware of the
technological instrument whereas there are only 2 or 3 shops of repairing processor an hardware which are also poor in these skills that they don’t know of how to identify the fault of RAM or CD-Rom. Dalit workers work day and night for the better future of their children and do not let their study stop anywhere and also continue even they move from one place to another. These student in majority are also unaware of mobile systems like Bluetooth, MMS, Flight mode, Reminder, Voice mail message, World clock, Stopwatch, Caller groups etc. Dalit Development Programme Pakistan has a staff and well-known teachers who are able to introduce technology to Dalits specially in Tharparkar or else because a huge group of people is unaware of technology in this sector.
In Sindh in district Tharparkar people are even unaware of the technology of mobile or computer, other technologies are no doubt so far. In the region of Dalit populated areas like Tharparkar, Badin etc there are no shops having experts giving skills to repair a cell phone or a computer system. There are only a few shops in these regions which don’t know the fault of Hardware or software or even of small settings like that of restore factory settings. Majority of the peoples having cell phones are even unaware of the features of mobile like that of SMS, MMS, Infrared, Wifi or Bluetooth connectivity, Alaram clock, Reminder, Stopwatch, World clock etc.
Dalit Development Programme Pakistan is with a mandate to propagate the knowledge regarding all the basic necessities of life.
5) Water Shortage;
Water is an important necessity for every individual in all over the World, whereas people living in cities not only dislike its scarcity but also dislike to drink salty water or to take a bath; the situation in the region of Thar and Parkar is totally opponent to that of cities. It feels astonishing to see these accommodators availing the facility of water; following are some of the major scenes of how the scarcity of water is affects in these harsh regions:
1) They have to go to the long distance of kilometers in search of water because they have to pull water out of well which are not available at their doorsteps or nearby.
2) They have to go in a group so that it becomes easy to pull water from the well.
3) They also have to use their livestock like Camel, Ox or donkey for pulling out the water.
4) They also have to send their children for water on donkeys instead of schools.
5) The distance of kilometers is totally on their feet and not at any convenience.
6) The water which they use is totally salty, use of which make their teeth yellow in color.
7) Their health is so much affected by this water which creates pain, fatigue, fever, headache and abdomen problems.
The life of this community has really been so harsh; when rain comes; its water is collected in the form of pond which they use for drinking for some time.
Through Dalit Development Programme we urge the government and concerned authorities to take step for it.
Their life is totally in danger!!!
If we feel the above scenario on us it will be very ruthless because living in such a dangerous way is very much harmful.
Hundreds of Dalit candidates who want to become successful person in their lives keep on studying and face financial problems during their study times. They almost come for study from long distances and areas where they already face water shortage and other basic problems of life along with their families.
Tolerating above problems and facing such psychological depression ruin them so hard. They keep on their study and pass with good numbers. While studying they also face caste discrimination in both lower and higher classes, they also face the problem of paying fees in the given time because they, in majority are from the poor family background which even can’t afford their meal so how is it possible to arrange such large fees of college and universities?
Hundred of candidates from Dalit community are unemployed after their graduation or Intermediate. There is no one who may provide them any job due to which their overall study and that span goes vain.
8) Lack of labor an wage:
As it is discussed that Dalit is the most vulnerable nation. Dalits are accommodated in all the districts of Sindh and in Punjab; in major in Rahim Yar Khan. Majority residents in Tharparkar face lot of problems regarding labor, whole the year. Whereas rain is the only source of their income which does not occurs every year and still makes them more depressed about their future, which causes a severe drought condition in this overall deserted region. During drought condition a huge number of Dalits have to move in search of food to some other areas of Sindh. They almost move for share cropping basis in interior Sindh which exempt them from the tension of their major need “Food”. They do not only move alone for share cropping but they have to completely leave their arid region for some span along with their children, their family and ancestors, their major path of leaving their homes is to walk because their asset (livestock) is with them, girls or ladies are preferable to ride on camel and gents walking with them. Problem of fare in the bus is a very common thing which was faced in my childhood and the same position is still. Somewhere I saw during my childhood old age male/ females were pushed out, to leave the bus and they had to leave in the hot shiny day. Hundreds of cattle die during the time of drought because government does not take any action regarding their health and other safety of life. It has been more than six decades since the liberation of Pakistan and become an independent state but no more appreciable steps are being taken so that the life scenario is worst.
When people turn to other districts in Sindh during drought they somehow prefer to find some kind of labor but almost find only agriculture workforce by land lords who grasp them almost for a lifetime in this workforce i.e., they are almost given the work relating to agriculture; they are no doubt uneducated in a major so can not handle or remember their records of accounting so that the concerned land lord always make a huge liability which they can not pay for a long time.
During drought Dalits face many of the other problems which includes the exemption of the study of their children, labor, health etc. At many places land lords make insincerities and injustices to Dalits which includes the arrest of their young unmarried daughter, wives or the whole family. At many places Dalit girls are raped by the sons of land lords but no any action is taken regarding them i.e., police says it is helpless to do anything because land lords are considered as chief and even some MPAs and MNAs have to follow land lords as they collect their votes from their polling stations.
9) Life as a prisoner or a servant:
Due to low literacy rate their imagination and know how about the world is zero so whatever others say they have to do and does not ignore. Many of the Dalits (Scheduled Caste) are still unaware of the basic rights so that they are almost treated as miserable because they are totally under the work of their chief, who does not only take their own work from them but of others also. Sweat flow from their body all the times.
Hundred of Dalits relating to odh community in Sindh work to make some kind of tiles which are used to make the walls of the homes.
They have to work under their chief and they are also almost illiterate so are deprived of their basic rights i.e., they do not get their perfect wages which even deprive them of their basic edible items.
Due to low literacy rate many of the workers of the same community are detained in dungeon and are given hard work inside it, they are almost strictly prohibited to get out of it. They are also taken long time work which makes their life sketch unparallel and also affect their health. After getting some exemption from these dungeons they feel that it’s a new life for them and also feel utmost pleasure. It is commented by them that this is all a very harsh labor which ruins them; they all wish to get exemption from such kind of labor.
All Dalits face bonded labor problem in all the areas of Sindh somewhere in the same form and somewhere in the other.
10) Child Marriage and Child Labor:
Ancestors of Dalit community prefer to marry their children in their young ages before they get mature or age 18, either individual may be a girl or boy they just marry them in their young age. After the lit of education a few of Dalits now prefer to marry their children after adultery whereas majority still follow the same tradition due to which many of the children are born with abnormality or any other deficiency which remains with them till the life ends.
Pakistani laws ignore all such acts and consider all these acts as against the state but law enforcing agencies do nothing. Whereas in some major cities somewhere action is taken either they will be insulted by media.
Many of the Dalit boys and girls also suicide after their marriage as they can not face the problems of life on everything like that of health and food issue. Hundreds of Dalit children die at the time of their birth as there are no good services in hospitals and due to very much pain of women during their pregnancy times and delivery. This all is like killing the nation in an indirect way which is in real a crime but is not considered so.
Dalit children having an immature life and the days of studying in schools are found at many places working at some shops and as a labor. They also have to work hard which includes the mechanical, electrical or labor work like in buildings, at roads etc. on weekly wages basis.
10) Dalit Palaces and Life:
No doubt Dalits are in majority of the minority of Hindus but are also so poor in majority. Only a few of those who have completed their education and have got some job have made their homes of cement or tiles but all others who live in cities in huts as well as in villages could not. Their homes are made of wood which creates heat inside it. It feels shocking to be in these huts as these are so hot and in summer it creates lots of head ache although fever, abdomen pain (due to use of water), Malaria, Eye weaknesses are common to them.
For all Dalits these warm huts are their palaces and make their life comfortable in it. In the overall Sindh you will easily find them all to live in these huts, when in Tharparkar they leave these palaces and turn to some other areas in drought condition they simply lock these doors of hut and do nothing else. They firmly believe that whenever they will return their homes will be in same form as they are leaving. In some other areas of Sindh many Dalits leave their residents because of insincerities of concerned land lords and never come back, this way the education of their children is damaged and they become unable to continue it. In the palaces of Dalits there is almost only one torch which illuminates their home, somewhere lantern is used for the purpose of illuminating home.
11) Life in Peril:
As it can be seen form the above said debate that Dalits are facing lots of troubles in Sindh as well as outside of it in Punjab which includes Education, health, labor, water, lack of educational institutes etc which shows that they are most depressed nation, their overall life sketches are ruined, of family and ancestors form their predecessors . They have been pushed back to more than 500 years which needs a lot of struggle to get back in the current era. We have been thrown back by a very pessimistic politics and are made uncivilized nation by the leaders of our own faith.
-There are hundreds of other issues which are found in Dalit localities which includes no electricity in many villages which deprive them of basic life standard. There is no gas and residents often have to use wood or waste material of animals as firewood which is the only resource of making food.
Dalits in Pakistan have ever been through this scenario for many decades, living in such a harsh way looks so vilest. There is no any district in Sindh where Dalits are not accommodated and are all in majority relating to agriculture sector along with their children and family. There have ever been many problems of diseases which affect them but they have to face all these personally. They also face lot of troubles during the time at hospital and are almost found tensed at hospitals.
I cordially salute all the women of Dalit community who are living in such a harsh situation and never complain about it. I bow their courage to be ever with their husbands till they die, they also work with them in fields. They never pretend and always obey their husbands.
I salute all these men who have ever been through harshness but even manage the life and do not get angry on life which is provided as a gift by Lord Almighty.