MITHI: Thousands of picnickers from almost every nook and cranny of Sindh have started visiting Thar to enjoy its rare natural beauty which exposes itself once in several years during bounteous rains.

Thar has worn lush green cover after spells of heavy rains, bringing back smiles to the faces of Tharis in many areas of the rain-dependent arid zone of the country.

Nearly 1.6 million souls living in the desert district as well as their more than 6 million livestock, rare species and other creatures of great Thar have heaved a sigh of relief soon after it started to rain in the region from the past week of June and then again in July and August. More rainfalls are predicted in the area.

Tharis, who had migrated to the barrages with their livestock or to earn the livelihood, have already returned to home. Every dweller of the desert, right from Kaloi town to Kasbo village, is seen happy and thankful to the nature which blessed them with sufficient rains for cultivation of their traditional crops and fodder for their animals. Their dried-up wells have also been recharged and they are hopeful that they would not be forced again to leave their hearth and home due to the drought conditions they faced in 2018, which was the worst year in the recent times.

The beautiful landscape and lush green pastures as well as fields have not only doubled the joys of the locals, but have attracted thousands of picnickers from across the country.

Daily hundreds of people with families visit various points as well as historical sites such as temples of Jains in Nagarparkar and Bhalwa, the village of legendary Marvi, besides a beautiful temple at Churio near the Indian border and the hilltops of the famous Karoonjhar hills.

Local folk singers like Ustad Mohammad Yousaf Fakeer, the famous blind singer of Kasbo, and many others entertain the visitors at various occasions on weekends and other days.

Talking to this reporter, local Tharis said the recent rains had provided them enough relief, giving a boost to their businesses especially those of hotels in Mithi, Chelhar, Islamkot, Nagarparkar and other towns and places.

They demanded of the Sindh government to construct more hotels at various places from Islamkot to Veerawah and establish more resorts for the lodging of visitors.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2019