BADIN: Speakers at the launch of a book on dead river Hakro and extinct waterways of Indus said that research on the causes that led to death of rivers was the need of the hour as it would greatly help understand depleting water resources and suggest ways to tackle the crisis.

They were sharing their views on the book authored by Mohammad Usman Rahukro at the ceremony organised by Sindh Graduates Association at Tando Bago Press Club on Sunday evening.

Well-known poet and writer Ayub Khoso said that research was the need of the hour as it enlightened the reader about the rich civilisations that flourished on the banks of the two rivers and their waterways in the past when rivers used to be hub of all human activities.

He said the writer had researc­hed extensively despite his serious ailment and visited several places both in Sindh and Punjab to gather information on the waterways of the two rivers.

Mr Khoso said that Rahukro had beautifully narrated existing waterways and the ones that had dried up centuries ago. Like Indus, Hakro was once a great river which used to flow through several areas of lower Sindh, he said.

Peeral Khoso, central vice chairman of the association, highly lauded Mr Rahukro’s work and urged the functionaries concerned of Sindh government to encourage such writers, who were contributing to history, culture and literature of the province.

“Rahukro deserves an award for his masterpiece,” he said and added that it was the fruit of a great labour by a simple soul.

His organisation was ready to encourage such writers, whose splendid works could not be published for want of funds, he said.

Prof Dr Ismail Memon said that the writer had worked very hard like he did with his previous books to unearth many hidden facts on waterways, which were hitherto unknown to many people.

The book was authored after painstaking research and close observation, he said.

He said the book would prove to be a guide for those who wished to know about the waterways of the two rivers, especially of Hakro, which had ceased to exist centuries ago due to a number of reasons including natural disasters.

Known poet Nakash Alwani said that writing on waterways and water was the need of the hour as it would greatly help in understanding depleting water resources. The writer had done a great job by writing the book on such an important subject, he said.

He said that Rahukro’s book would prove to be another authentic work on the waterways and would greatly help those who were interested in the centuries-old history of mighty Indus.

The book’s author said that he had undertaken the task to write the book on the flows of both the rivers as a challenge and completed it in spite of his illness.

He had to face the worst days of his life because of his ailment since he had to reside on the bank of dead Hakro River, he said.

He said that the dead river’s bed was still visible in several areas of Sindh.

It was his mission to write the book during his lifetime on the dead river and the mighty Indus, he said.

Mr Rahukro said that a number of local, national and international writers had written a great deal on the Indus but only a few bothered to write on the rivers which had been dead and very little material was available on the causes that led to the death of Hakro, Puran and others, which used to be mighty waterways in ancient times.

He vowed to write more books on the rich history of the region as well as on other topics such as the devastation being caused by sea intrusion, which was triggered by stoppage of water flows to deltaic areas in lower parts of Sindh.

Taj Baloch, Ashfaq Ahmed Memon, Mohib Bheel, Khalil Khoso, Suleman Khaskheli, Khaki Jani, Khalid Channa, Manzoor Samoon, Allah Bachayo Rahukro, Ghulam Mustafa Jamali and others also spoke at the ceremony.

Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2019