Dar ul Sukoon- A Home of peace and love


On Tuesday, November 2015 a delegation of the Sociology department visited DAR UL SUKUN (A Home of Peace and Love) and Orangi Poilet Project (OPP) Karachi. The tour was organized under the supervision of Dr.Pro. Ranna Saba Sociology Department, University of Karachi.

Karachi Pakistan University

The department of Sociology of Uok visited Dar ul Sukoon.
Photo: Asif Sakhi

Dar ul Sukoon

Dar ul Sukoon boundary wall.
Photo: Asif Sakhi

DAR UL SUKUN  is basically a home for Physically and mentally challenged people in Karachi City. Most of the people are taken to Dar ul Sukun  due to poverty, insufficient health facilities or care.

According to the official website Dar ul Sukon   ‘’www.darulsukun.com’’  was founded on Seventeen Feb, 1969 by a Dutch nun, Sr. Gertrude Lemmens who came to Pakistan on a visit. She was so much touched by the pathetic condition of children with disabilities, Mostly found on street corners and rescued from the garbage dump in the city. In Pakistan, she devoted her life to the care of such children, which were brought by social workers, police and relatives.

Mother of the Motherless people.

Mother of the Motherless.  Sr. Gertrude Lemmens 1914-2000

After reaching at Dar ul Sakoon, the staff members warmly welcomed and introduced and gave a short and informative information about their NGO.

One of the staff member said that ‘we are accepting those people here who are refused by the society and we struggle to empower the folks with disabilities and with non-disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency with inclusion and integration into all aspects of society’

Staff member of Dar ul Sukoon introducing the NGO to Students. Photo: Asif Sakhi

Staff member of Dar ul Sukoon introducing the NGO to Students.
Photo: Asif Sakhi

Karachi University

Staff member of Dar ul Sukoon introducing the NGO to Students

One of the students appreciated the work of Dar ul Sakoon and asked to mention their donors and source of funding. Many people contribute trough Zakat and through different channels. Sometimes we need to organize charity shows to generate funds, the staff member replied.

Side View of Dar ul Sukoon. Photo: Asif Sakhi

Students of Sociology Department along with Dr.Prof Rana Saba distributed gifts among the Children of Dar ul Sukoon. (Side View of Dar ul Sukoon)
Photo: Asif Sakhi

Dar ul Sakoon is also a great opportunity for those students who want to do an internship.

Me and Pro.Dr. Rana Saba, Department of Sociology. Pc :Zaffer Ali

Me and Pro.Dr. Rana Saba, Department of Sociology.
Pc :Zaffer Ali

After Spending one hour at Dar ul Sakoon we left for our next destination.

Study Tour to Gadap Town- Drip Irrigation System


Last Saturday we had a study tour to Gadap Town Karachi on behalf of Sociology Department, University of Karachi, Gadap Town is a town in the northwestern part of Karachi with the Hub River on its western limits also forming the provincial border between Sindh and Balochistan, while to the north and east are Dadu District and the Kirthar Mountains.

(Group Photo with Dr.prof. Sobia Shaizad (ex-chairperson) and Dr.prof.Kauser Parveen at Gadap Town)

(Group Photo with Dr.prof. Sobia Shaizad (ex-chairperson) and Dr.prof.Kauser Parveen at Gadap Town)

Dr.Prof.Sobia Shaizad and Dr.Kauser Parveen were the organizers of the tour and they introduced the Gadap community to the students. The students were given a task to observe the Gadap Community’s Social Issues and challenges in their life. I found the community resemble to other rural areas of Pakistan but the only thing which attract and was new to me is their Irrigation System i-e ‘’Drip Irrigation System’’.

Drip irrigation is an efficient and economical method of watering. Used commonly in dry regions with scarce water resources, the use of drip irrigation is increasing in the Northeast. This irrigation method is typically more than 90% efficient at allowing plants to use the water applied.’’

Drip System Irrigation in Gadap town Karachi, Sindh.  photo : Asif Sakhi

Drip System Irrigation in Gadap town Karachi, Sindh.
photo : Asif Sakhi

We visited the field areas of the Gadap town and got chance to interact with the residents and farmers of the town. According to them this system was introduced to them during 2002 in the government tenure of Gen-Musharraf. We were not able to cultivate crops because of the lacking of water source in the town and this system had changed our life, he further added. Small Dams were installed at the corner of every field to store and supply water to the crops. According to one of the farmer he said that they are able to cultivate crops after every two years, when asked why then he gave a very good reason that it depends on the soil’s fertility and if you will cultivate any crops during the break season then you will be not able to get good result of the crops.

During Gen-Musharraf Govt-Tenure small dams were installed to eradicate the water scarcity . photo: Asif Sakhi

During Gen-Musharraf Govt-Tenure small dams were installed to eradicate the water scarcity .
photo: Asif Sakhi

Most of the people relay on the rain water and there is no any alternative source of water to them. The Government should introduce Drip Irrigation System to all those areas where they are not able to irrigate because of scarcity of water buried lands.

Session Break- The farmers give one year break to land .  Photo: Asif Sakhi

Session Break- The farmers give one year break to land .
Photo: Asif Sakhi

I have noticed and observed many advantages and disadvantages of the systems.

The advantages as per my observation are there is minimum chance of water wastage and you can use the water on greater level, Fertilizers can be use with high efficiency. The most important thing is that it is not important to level the field and which can save time of farmers. There is less chance of fertilizer wastage Energy cost can be reduced as it operated in lower pressure then other irrigation system.

Skilled labors are required for installing pipe lines in drip irrigation system.  In this picture a plant can be seen dead because of no excess to water. Photo:Asif Sakhi

Skilled labors are required for installing pipe lines in drip irrigation system.
In this picture a plant can be seen dead because of no excess to water.
Photo:Asif Sakhi

The farmer/labor keep a small slot in the pipe line from where the roots of the plant get water.  photo:Asif Sakhi

The farmer/labor keep a small slot in the pipe line from where the roots of the plant get water.
photo:Asif Sakhi

I haven’t notice any disadvantages of the Drip Irrigation System during the visit but the Local people mentioned some. According to them it is expensive especially the initial cost is high and the lifetime of the tube used in the irrigation system can be shorten by the direct sun rays and the most important thing is that high Skills labors are required.

Photo taken with Dr.Prof.Sobia Shaizad (ex-Chairperson of Sociology Department) and Dr.prof Kauser Parveen.

Photo taken with Dr.Prof.Sobia Shaizad (ex-Chairperson of Sociology Department) and Dr.prof Kauser Parveen.

Election Ahead in Gilgit-Baltistan


Another election is approaching fast in GB. The leaders of various kinds and forms have already rolled their sleeves up, while their respective supporters, who affiliate themselves with different groups, ideologies, personalities, tribes etc etc are also gaining momentum with the time. Particularly the youngsters, GB Diasporas are taking social media to express their love and anger for different candidates. It is vital for a viable society to discuss and debate on issues while upholding the ethical values of the society. We need not to get personal and become emotional while discussing issues. Plus the as

Gilgit-Baltistan

Election Ahead in Gilgit Baltistan.

piring leaders and their social media advisors should also promote tolerance and provide space for opponents to discuss and share their concerns. Coming to the specific point, which is identifying a politician from among candidates who could best work under the current political environment and political setup of GB. Who is a true leader? Who is competent? Who is honest? Who did what in past? What party? These are some critical questions our youth are debating on social media. I did a cursory content analysis of some of the comments of the commentators and likers on facebook on 3 different pages of candidates. I can assert from the commentators that most us are still confuse, we don’t have a clear framework in our mind to asses a candidate and his competencies. Either we are biased or our prejudices dominate our free conscience. First we need to determine, what competencies, experiences and traits, we are looking in our ideal leaders for the upcoming election in GB. Leadership has various forms; we have social leaders and some good religious ones. But here we are looking a political leader. The set of competencies required for being a political leader is entirely different from being a community leader or religious ones. Holding master degree in political science can most probably make you a good political analyst in this country but not a successful politician. It is like an MBA postgrad can work as an employee in some business/enterprise but may not necessarily become a successful entrepreneur. For successful entrepreneur/business one needs those specific competencies. In the political arena of Pakistan, here being a gentle man is not the desired trait for the position or simply being competent is not enough for holding the office. In GB context, we need someone, who could best perform under the present constitutional setup with limited autonomy and confront the continuous tug of war with the bureaucracy and establishment. We need someone who has proven skills to work with the bureaucratic system, which is dominant system in the area. We know the worth of so-called GBLA under the current political setup. This is high time specifically for the people of GB and particularly Hunza as the two countries (China & Pak) have already signed agreement on various mega projects. We need to safeguard our interests in the rapidly changing environment. Our land rights, our pastures, land river, natural landscape, everything will be on stake, if did not chose the right person. Not a community leader, not a religious ones but someone who knows the politics and can play politics for the people and by the people

GOJAL,HUNZA: The Longest Tunnel on KKH (4485mt) will connect Gojal to Central Hunza in the mid of 2015. CRBC. |PASSUTIMES.EN


Good news indeed. thanks CRBC. Pak China dosti zindabad 🙂

Passu Times English

collage_FotorGOJAL, HUNZA:  January 01: China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), a construction company from China successfully completed the longest tunnel (4485 meter) over on new alignment to connect traffic from Central Hunza to Gojal Upper Hunza, which has been suspended for five years due to the Attabad Lake. CRBC arranged a colorful ceremony on 30th December 2014 to celebrate this historic millstone. On this occasion, the CRBC officials acknowledged its top six outstanding and professional staff for their dedication and hard work. Mr. Nazir Aman Tajik from Gojal Upper Hunza has been awarded best technical person. Mr. Nazir was trained by CRBC two years ago and he is part of the engineering group. According to CRBC officials, this realignment of KKH (24km) including two tunnels, seven large-high and 2 small bridges, 70 culverts and 80.583 cum retaining walls will be completed and opened for all traffics by mid of 2015.

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A REFLECTION ON THE LITERARY WORK OF MASTER HAQIQAT ALI – RESEARCH, PROMOTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF WAKHI LANGUAGE AND CULTURE


Late Master Haqiqat Ali (commonly known as Master suhib) born in 1939 in Passu Gojal Hunza. Completed primary and secondary education in Hunza and could not continued further education due to multiple reasons. It was an era, when globally there were changes happening based on ideologies, geography and socio-economic and political advancement But people of upper Hunza in particular and people of lower and central Hunza in general were living below poverty-line, restrictions on access to education, freedom of speech and economic and political opportunitieswere based on loyalty with the then Mir dooms. Professional andhigher education was only confined to the royal families and upper class of the Mir dooms. In mid 1970s, with inception of Diamond Jubilee schools, Master suhib got opportunity to teach English and Persian subjects in Diamond Jubilee Boys & Girls Middle School in Passu from 1976 – 1977. Master suhib was among the few selfless and active social workers of upper Hunza who devoted their time and knowledge and provide visionary leadership at different levels in most challenging times. He remained pro-active within different Imamati institutions both at local and regional levels since 1960 and rendered services till his unfortunate death in 1990.

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Master suhib’s curiosity to understand the society, different cultures, languages and traditions enabled him to establish networking with different literary peoplenational and internationalscholars, diplomats through letters, personal meetings on their visit to the area as tourist. In the beginning of 1970s, Master suhib started researchon Wakhi language and culture. His personal diary elaborates his hypothesis on the need of interventions to preserve and promote Wakhi language and culture. Master Suhib was of the opinion (in 1970s) that “currently the economic, political, social and educational condition and position of Wakhi community in Pakistan (Hunza, Ghizer and Chitral) are extremely miserable and is being exploited by others – as a result there is visible influence of the other superior neighboring languages on Wakhi in all regions”. Master suhib’s personal diary shows that he initially collected primary data / information on Wakhi population in Pakistan and other countries (China, Tajikistan and Afghanistan),their political, social and economic status as well as collected the obsolete terms/ words through discussions with Wakhi elders on different topics. At the same time he collected information on Wakhi culture and tradition as well as tried to develop Wakhi family trees and its origin. For this purpose he visited China too.

After more than a decade’s painstaking work on collection of basic data/information, Master Suhibconsulted his other literary friends like Prof. Dr. BoghshoBoghshozadaLashkar Baig (Tajikistan), AsmatUllahMushfiq, Ahmed Jami, Ali Qurban and other foreign linguistic scholars to define the script for Wakhi alphabet. They mutually agreed on Roman script and considered it productive, acceptable and more user friendly for all Wakhi population around the glob. By 1985, Master suhib completed the Wakhi alphabets and published “Wakhi Language XikWorZik Book -1” through the plate forum of Wakhi Culture Association in Passu. This book is first ever initiative of a native wakhi in Pakistan. In this book Master suhib introduced 49 Wakhi alphabets with specific signs and symbols added to fulfill the idiosyncratic requirements of Wakhi. Late RaiGhulamudin, Chairman H.H. Prince Aga Khan Shia ImamiIsmaili Regional Education Board for Northen Areas lauded this pioneering work and mentioned in the forward as “I am proud to say that Mr. Haqiqat Ali, Ex – Head Master of His Highness Prince Aga Khan D.J. Middle School Passu, has taken the challenge of expending an awareness of Wakhi, being a Wakhi himself and well versed with Wakhigrammar, vocabulary and sounds. Mr. Haqiqat Ali has produced a Primer in Wakhi language ….. His desire is that this will further stimulate the young generation to read and write Wakhi and the door for young generation of Wakhi spoken to learn the grammar of their own tongue and preserve their own culture.”Prof. Dr. Georg Buddruss, Professor of Oriental Languages and History, University of Mainz, Germany (Writer of a vocabulary book on Wakhi) remained a good friend with Master Suhib and they were together in a research project on Wakhi in 1982. Prof. Dr. Buddrussexplains his experience with Master suhib as “My friend, Master Haqiqat Ali, Head Master of Midle School Passu has been part of our research on Wakhi language for three weeks in 1982 and we collected more useful data and information on Wakhi language. He was extremely punctual, diligent and patient researcher to his difficult language and he answers all the questions and provides information with great precision and circumspection.”

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After completion of work on script and alphabets, Master suhib taken another challenge to develop Wakhi dictionary. He collected more than four thousand words but unfortunately his sudden death stopped this work half-way. It is pertinent here to mention that Master Suhib collected more than 500 Wakhiproverbs. Most of them are either extinct and/or very often in-use. But these data will help in reviving and promoting Wakhi language and will serve important datafor researcher in days ahead.

Master suhib with his humbleness, friendly attitude, positive for sharing and learning had a wider network of contacts and friends circle locally and internationally like foreign researchers, diplomats, scholars etc. Through these friends he collected rare and important books and literatures on different subjects including culture, languages, history and politics. He also collected almost all books on Wakhi written by foreign researchers, scholars and others. He had in mind to establish a “Resource Centre” in order to collect more books and developed reading and research habit among the new generation.

Master Suhib was also affiliated with tourism sector and written two important books on guiding and trekking. These books had a positive impact on tourism in Hunza and Chitral especially it attracted foreign tourists to visit the beautiful Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. Master suhib was optimistic about the improved life style of new generation and was considering construction of KKH and AKDN interventions a path to development of the community on modern lines and according to him Tourism, Border trade and cash crops/livestock will be the major economic opportunities in the areas. Master suhib was in-fact the only intellectual having no any family affiliation with the than so-called royal family had a global perspective on issues. His writing pieces, the letters of appreciations and acknowledgments from various foreign televisions, documentary groups, diplomats and scholars for his interviews, lectures and information/discussions with global view/challenges reflect his intellect. Master suhib had a close coordination with Imamti Institutions national and international like Ismailia Association for Pakistan (Now ITREB Pakistan) and The Institute of Ismaili Studies London and international Ismaili scholars.

Although Master sahib has left us more than two decades ago, but his vision, leadership and selfless services and pioneering work on Wakhiis still an inspiration for all age group within Wakhiz and the strong base for way forward is to build on with unity, accepting diversity and hard work.

Photos: Aga Khan Foundation, USA Houston PartnershipsInAction Walk/Run 2014


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Rafiq Maredia Pictures – PartnershipsInAction 2014 – Southwest (Houston, Texas).

Sunny Taj Pictures – PartnershipsInAction 2014 – Southwest (Houston, Texas).

Suleman Lalani Pictures – PartnershipsInAction 2014 – Southwest (Houston, Texas).

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PartnershipsInAction is an initiative of Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. and its network of volunteers across the U.S. to raise awareness and funds for innovative programs that create hope and…

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