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ISLAMABAD, July 14: With the start of Ramazan, the centuries old tradition of a 'dhol wala' (Drum beater) waking up people for Sehri remains alive in certain areas of Pakistan.

Till a couple of decades ago, most Pakistanis would wake up to the loud drumbeats in the wee hours heralding the beginning of Sehri time during Ramazan.

However, with the modern technology, this tradition has declined.

Asif Bashir at Bara Kahu told this agency that with the induction of modern technology, this custom had almost vanished from urban areas, but its charm remained strong in rural areas especially in the villages of Southern Sindh and North-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Hussain Shah, a 70-year old drummer at Chandni Chowk Rawalpindi, said, “Our forefathers told us that for centuries, the people of the sub-continent (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) would wake on the drum beats as there were no other methods such as loudspeakers or alarms to signal the time.”

He still beats the drum at Sehri, and said, “I feel very happy to wake the people up. I never enjoyed any other event like this and feel that I am doing a religious activity.”

He said that even though people in his area had modern devices to help them wake up, they wanted to keep the custom alive and encouraged the ‘dhol wala’. — APP