Women Pakistan social distancing
Women maintain social distancing at a water facility in Tharparkar, Pakistan Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Amid frequent violations of lockdown in Karachi and urban areas of Sindh, rural Sindh emerges as a shining example with regard to following guidelines and practicing social distancing by the local people there. In these areas, the local population, predominantly non-Muslims, is strictly following the advisory as given by the government and the local health authorities to prevent coronavirus.

Rights activists, non-government organisations (NGOs) and local elders are also playing a major role in sensitising the people, particularly women, minority communities and vulnerable families.

In Tharparkar, Umerkot, Thatta, Sanghar and other areas of interior Sindh people are encouraged to spend maximum time at homes and, in case, they go out of their homes, they need to wear masks and keep a safe distance in daily life activities.

While talking to Gulf News on Thursday, CEO of Thar Education Alliance (TEA), Partab Rai Shivani said TEA is supporting the Sindh government’s initiative in educating masses on social distancing in far-flung and remote villages of Tharparkar. Most of our initiatives are women-focused and we are working closely with them to make them realise how important it is to maintain social distancing, he said.

Social distancing norms taught

In Tharparkar, local women cover long distances carrying pitchers on their heads in search of water. “We have asked them to take care that while filling their utensils with water at different water sources they should maintain safe distance,” he said.

“Besides, people are encouraged not to shake hands nor to attend some religious gathering or festival or even go to crowded places for shopping. We are asking them to make a queue outside the ration centres to receive food or assistance under Ehsas Programme and their response is quite reassuring.”

In a post on twitter, Partab writes: “Still many women in #Tharparkar go out to fetch water from a shared facility in d villages. TEA team sensitized group of women in Moli Ji Dhani on #socialdistancing and now they are observing it like a book rule. This is how society changes when u educate n sensitize a girl n woman.”

An image in this regard showing local women of Mithi, District Tharparkar patiently waiting in queue before a small grocery shop reflects the level of awareness among the local community, majority of them Hindus.

While posting the picture on his twitter account, human rights activist of Sindh Kapil Dev writes: “This is how natives in a small village in #Tharparkar are observing #SocialDistancing. Some urbanites should learn from these rural who are comparatively less educated but they do follow what is being advised by the govt authorities.”