View of city in the District
|• Deputy Commissioner||Dr Shahzad Tahir Thaheem|
|• District Health Officer||Dr. Irshad Ahmed Memon|
|• Land||19,638 km2 (7,582 sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+5 (PST)|
Rank in Pakistan
| 0.227 very low|
109th (out of 114)
PS-54 Tharparkar-I - Abdul Razzaque
PS-55 Tharparkar-II - Muhammad Qasim Soomro
PS-56 Tharparkar-III - Faqir Sher Muhammad Bilalani
PS-57 Tharparkar-IV - Arbab Lutfullah
NA-221 Tharparkar-I - Pir Noor Muhammad Shah JeelaniNA-222 Tharparkar-II - Mahesh Kumar Malani
Tharparkar District (Sindhi: ضلعو ٿرپارڪر, Hindi: थारपारकर जिला, Gujarati: થારપાકર જીલ્લા, Urdu: ضِلع تھرپارکر ) is one of the twenty nine districts of Sindh province in Pakistan. It is largest district of Sindh province by land area. It has the largest number of Hindu population in Pakistan. It is headquartered at Mithi. It has the lowest Human Development Index of all the districts in Sindh. Thar has a fertile desert and the livelihood of Thari people depends on rainfall agriculture.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Climate and Biodiversity
- 3 Human Development
- 4 Transportation
- 5 Economy and Livelihood
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Tourism
- 8 Administration
- 9 Welfare
- 10 Famous in Tharparkar
- 11 Notable people
- 12 See also
- 13 References
Tharparkar district lies in 69° 3” 35’ to 71° 7” 47’ east longitudes and 24° 9’ 35” to 25° 43’ 6” north latitudes. On the East it adjoins with Jaisalmer, Barmer and Jalore districts of Rajasthan in India. In the South it adjoins with Kutch district of Gujarat in India. District Umerkot lies on the north while district Badin and Mirpurkhas are in the west of Tharparkar.
Climate and Biodiversity
The district has a tropical desert climate. In the summers, it is extremely hot during the day, but nights are remarkably cooler. April, May and June are the hottest months and December, January and February are the coldest months. The mean maximum and minimum temperature during winter is 28°C and 9°C respectively. There are wide fluctuations in the amount of rainfall from year to year and the yearly average for some areas is as low as 100 mm. Most of the rain falls between July and September, during the south-west monsoon.
Since 1997 the highest rainfall recorded was in the year 2011 with 1306 mm. Tharparkar has been hit by drought since several decades and the provincial government has also declared Tharparkar as a drought-hit area. List of drought declared years include: 1968, 1978, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018.
A study confirms 89 plant species of 26 plant families in this region. Numerous species of herbs which can be found in rainy season while desert shrubs and drought resistant trees can be found throughout the year. Some common list of these plants include:
Trees (Local Names)
Shrubs (Local Names)
Herbs (Local Names)
Grass (Local Names)
Wealth of fauna is considered as a salient feature of this region. From folk music to designs and art work since ancient times have included fauna of Thar as integral part. Fauna of Thar is also part of art, culture, heritage and great histories. The list of fauna commonly includes: 
The Human Development Index(HDI) of Tharparkar is 0.227. In Pakistan Human Development Index Report 2017, 114 district level HDIs were calculated for 2015 among which Tharparkar district ranks 109th with change in rank of -6 compared to 2013. This report specifies Tharparkar to be among bottom ten performing districts by HDI growth in decade (2005-15) with change in rank of -34.The report also says:
Tharparkar is the most deprived district in Sindh, and as the only district in the very low category, it lags far behind the other districts in the province.
Pakistan's Multidimensional Poverty Index report by UNDP says that 87% of population in Tharparkar live under poverty. Due to the lowest Human Development Index and Pakistan's highest infant mortality rate in Tharparkar, The Supreme Court of Pakistan decided to form a monitoring commission to regularly observe the steps taken by provincial government of Sindh.
Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) inked a MoU with World Food Programme, to reduce food insecurity in Tharparkar. As per World Food Programme - May 2019 report, Pakistan was provided US$ 362,000 along with 4,727 mt of food assistance. In the report, the operational updates specifies that around 170 government staff members were engaged in Tharparkar and Killa Abdullah District for proper implementation.
A report on efforts by provincial government specifies 287,000 families were 12 times provided 50 kg of wheat free of cost. Apart from this 500 houses were provided to Thari people free of cost. Also, 750 small water plants at a cost of Rs. 7.5 billion were setup in the district. Thar Foundation, an organization of the Sindh Government and Engro at a cost of Rs. 2 billion constructed a hospital of 250 beds with first block of 82 beds functional since February 2019.
In spite of such big initiatives by provincial, federal and international authorities, the region is unable to come out of its miseries. As per Health Department infant mortality rate in Tharparkar is seen to be at alarming level with death of 1,500 children every year. A report on children death figures in Tharparkar says in May, 2019 the death toll was 50. As per recent report 518 children have lost their lives in the year 2019.
As specified by Saeed Ghani a Mobile App has been introduced for providing wheat (drought relief package) in Tharparkar and there is high standard of transparency in distribution of wheat in Tharparkar district. However, neither the name of Mobile App was officially published anywhere nor any district-wide campaign of using such app was made. The people to obtain token number against their NIC to redeem wheat either depended on XLS/ PDF files which were unofficially circulated to a very limited people as offline source or depended on a website (original dead link) as online source with no official disclosure or district-wide campaign.
As specified by Mahesh Kumar Malani (legislator) Rs. 15 billion is already spent for development projects in 9 years and further development schemes worth Rs. 18 billion is under way to improve living standard of the people of Tharparkar. As specified by Chief Minister of Sindh Rs. 70 billion has been spent on the development infrastructure, airport and other projects. However, Pakistan Human Development Index Report says living standard index of Tharparkar has fallen by 50% in 2015 as compared to 2005.
Tharparkar district with area of 19,638 sq. kms has only 743 kms of quality roads which are considered inadequate as per district profile report by USAID and iMMAP. Major cities of the province are connected by a highway and talukas of the district are connected to district headquarters Mithi with metaled roads.
|Karachi (via Thatta / Badin)||300|
|Karachi (via Hyderabad / Mirpurkhas)||400|
|Karachi (via Mirpurkhas / Umerkot)||425|
At a cost of Rs. 972.07 million an international airport has been constructed in Islamkot by the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan in about four years which was earlier aimed to be completed within two years. The airport is available for both civil and military air traffic. This Islamkot International Airport is spread over an area of 1,000 acres and has 3 km long runway. It is constructed at the request of the Sindh Coal Authority for the development of the Thar coalfields and nearby. Since the airport lies within 80 km (50 mi) of Pakistan's international border with India, a clearance for the construction of the airport was taken by Pakistan's Ministry of Defence on 25 September 2009. The airport was first inaugurated on 17 July 2017 by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. The same airport was inaugurated again on 11 April 2018 by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with exclusive change in name of airport from Thar Airport to Mai Bakhtawar Airport. For the same, the insignia which was earlier installed on top of the building was modified. The airport has already been inaugurated twice however even after a year of second inauguration ceremony the official website of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority doesn't include this airport in map of Airport Locations in Pakistan. Also, there is no official IATA and ICAO code disclosure or published for this airport. In addition, there is neither any official website or gateway exclusively for this airport to know the travel routes and charges nor this airport is listed among destinations in official website of Pakistan's largest airline i.e. PIA.
Economy and Livelihood
Tharparkar district is a pre-dominantly rural district with 96% of the population residing in rural areas. Primary source of livelihood for rural population of the district is agriculture and livestock while the urban population is also employed in economic activities related to agriculture.
Tharparkar with desert-type land has gloomy performance in agricultural sector still agriculture dominates in employing Thari people. Mostly agriculture is based on rainfall water however in some areas of Nagarparkar taluka are fed with tube well water. Out of total area i.e. 2,011,000 hectares, the area cultivated is 1,014,000 hectares.
Reports published on reliefweb say that 94% of household has livestock and 77.64% of the population is engaged in livestock management. The report also says that average of livestock per household is 8 animals. Livelihood and food base of people in Tharparkar mainly depends on livestock and partially on agriculture. The current livestock population in Tharparkar is estimated around 7.5 millions. In a report Tharparkar district is specified to be richest in sheep population possessing 40% of the province’s sheep population. More than 3 million kg of wool is annually produced as per a report published in 2007. Tharparkar is considered as most suitable for sheep and wool development in Sindh. A report specifying the farm characteristics of livestock farming households says 70.30% of farms use animals as source of power for plowing. Number per herd of donkey is the highest in Tharparkar compared with other two deserts( i.e. Cholistan and Thal) of Pakistan. A Daily Times report suggests areas such as Tharparkar for developing breeding and rearing zones for conserving Pakistan's donkey population. Since livestock is primary income source and contributes to the financial system of every household in Tharparkar, it is considered to be one of the biggest potential livestock market in Sindh.
|Sheep||Kooka, Magra, Sonadi, Kachhi, Marwari|
|Goat||Tharki, Kamori, Chappar|
Tharparkar district has 121 male per 100 females which is considered as way ahead from the national level i.e. 106 as per district profile report. The report also says the factors likely to be instrumental for such difference are a very high maternal mortality rate, poor health care and non-availability of basic health facilities. As per same 2014 report, 50% population is said to be below 15 years of age and 3.73% population is 65 years or above. The dependent population in the district is 54.02% while the working population is 45.98% making the dependency ratio 117.5%.
At the time of the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the Hindus were 80% while the Muslims were 20% of the population. In the years between 1965 and 1971, population exchanges took place in the Thar between India and Pakistan. Thousands of Hindus (particularly the upper castes and their retainers) migrated from Pakistani Thar to the Indian section of the Thar. 3,500 Muslim families also shifted from the Indian section of the Thar to Pakistani Thar. The Muslim families were given 12 acres of land each (a total of 42,000 acres).
According to the 1998 census, Muslims constituted 59% of the population and the Hindus 41% of the district's population.It has the largest Hindu population in Pakistan in terms of absolute numbers.
- Shri Ramapir Mandir
- Churrio Jabal Durga Temple at Nangarparkar-The historic Durga Mata Temple on the Churrio Jabal is visited annually by 200,000 pilgrims annually on Shivratri.
- Guri Mandir at Guri
- Krishna Mandar Kantio Tharparkar
- Nagarparkar temples
- Verijhap Dham (Sadah Shiv Dham) at Diplo
- Sant Nenuram Ashram at Islamkot
Major tourist destinations includes:
Nagarparkar Jain Temples
These approximately 14 Jain temples are scattered throughout Nagarparkar taluka are inscribed on the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage as the Nagarparkar Cultural Landscape. Buildings of these temples date from the 12th to the 15th centuries.
Parbrahma Dham / Verijhap Dham
Parbrahma Dham ( پاربرهم ڌام , पारब्रह्म धाम) also known as Verijhap Dham(ويڊيجپ ڌام , वेडीजप धाम) or Chhari Saheb Dham (ڇڙي صاحب ڌام , छड़ी साहेब धाम) at Diplo taluka is an ancient Shiva Temple considered as Jyotirlinga where thousands of yatris arrive for Divya Jyot Darshan(Divine Light View) from a Jar. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947 the migrated Hindus worship Chhari Saheb at Sadashiv Chhari Mandir, Kubernagar in Ahmedabad. However many devotees accross the world arrive in Diplo during the annual "Parbrahma Mela" held in Jyeshtha month of Hindu Calender.
- Malanhore Veena
- Mithrio Bhatti
- Tar Ahmed
- Mithrio Charan
- Pirane Jo Par
- Jesse Jo Par
- Khario Ghulam Shah
- Sonal Beh
|NGO working for Tharparkar|
|Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations|
|Health and Nutrition Development Society (website)|
|United Nations World Food Programme|
|Sami Foundation (website)|
|Sindh Agricultural and Forestry Workers Coordinating Organization (website)|
|International Organization for Migration|
|Sukaar Foundation (website)|
|United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees|
|The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)|
|Lead Against Marginality & Poverty (website)|
|United Nation Development Programme (UNDP)|
|Association For Water Applied Education & Renewable Energy (website)|
|Participatory Village Development Programme (website)|
|United Nation World Health Organization|
|National Commission for Human Development|
|Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund|
|Society for Conservation and Protection of Environment (website)|
|Thardeep Rural Development Programme (website)|
|Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Children (SPARC)|
Famous in Tharparkar
In Tharparkar district, the peafowls hold great significance and are considered a part of identity, pride and heritage. They are found very commonly across this region. In early mornings they are seen roaming from one house roof to other and locals often offer them grains for feeding. During rainy days such frequency is higher. Peafowls also have great history in Thar. The peafowl of Thar once caught attention of Alexander the Great while he was passing through Sindh. Further, he sent this gift of nature to his mother. Since ancient times, peafowl has remained most integral part of designs and are seen in pottery, rallis and other handlooms and art works in Thar. Many artists, poets and singers from the land of Thar have emphasised peafowl in their work. A very famous Sindhi folk song "Mor Tho Tilley Rana" is one of such example. Peafowl is part of cultural heritage in Tharparkar.
Tharparkar cattle originating in Tharparkar district is a dual purpose breed known for both its milking and drought potential. It is also known as White or Gray Sindhi, Cutchi and Thari. As specified in several reports or articles:
"The Tharparkar came into prominence during the first World War when some animals were taken to supply milk for the Near East army camps. Here their capacity for production under rigorous feeding and unfavorable environmental conditions at once became apparent. Since then many breeding herds have been assembled in India and Pakistan. When left on arid pasture the milk production is approximately 1135 kg per lactation, while those animals maintained in the villages average 1980 kg."
Ralli are beautiful traditional quilts made by women in the Indus Region of the Indian subcontinent. The word Ralli is derived from the local word "ralanna" which means to mix or connect. Ralli are tradition since 4th millennium BC. On trade records from the early 1500s Ralli is listed as an export item to Europe. The tradition of Ralli has passed from mother to daughter for thousands of years. Irrespective of caste, religion, occupation and tribe thousands of women make Ralli. These women belong to under privileged and poor segment who consider it as their source of income. Women spent more than 170 hours for each of this art. Like a textile currency having a value, Ralli was used for exchange of valuable things in ancient Indus Valley Civilization. For Thari rural women, Ralli is vital source of entrepreneurship and skill development. In Tharparkar, Ralli with Peacock designs are very popular. 
Kekra Truck(Crab Truck) is very common for the local transportation in Tharparkar. This truck is very suitable for sandy routes so it is also called 'Camel of Thar'. The truck is decorated with various designs and flowers. Since, powerful Bedford engines of World War II are used in Kekras, the popularity of this truck is on the peak. Before the roads were constructed in Tharparkar, people along with their livestock and household items used to transport via Kekra. Now, with rise in road connectivity these trucks mostly transport the goods or general items. Modifications in Chassis is done for enhancing the loading capacity. A typical Kekra truck is said to have capacity of 12,000 kg. Kekra trucks with traditional Thari decorations has become the tradition of transportation in Tharparkar district. 
- Nihalchand Pabani (1913–1997) – Neem Revolutionist, leader, social worker, Former Chairman Islamkot
- Fozia Soomro (1966–2002) – Thari, Marwari and Sindhi folk singer.
- Mai Bhagi (Bhagbhari, 1920–1986) – The cuckoo of Thar desert, Pakistani folk musician
- Surendar Valasai
- Bherulal Balani
- Gori Temple
- Thar desert
- Tharparkar (cattle)
- Churrio Jabal
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In the 1965 war, Pakistan captured a large area of the Indian part of the Thar desert, and in 1971 India captured a large part of the Thar desert in Pakistan. Many UCs in Pakistani Thar were Hindu majority areas, and Pakistani Thar as a whole was dominated by the Hindu upper caste who controlled most of the productive land and livestock. They also dominated the politics of Thar and strictly enforced caste divisions, making upward social and economic mobility almost impossible for the Hindu lower castes. Their control over the caste system also ensured the maintenance of agriculture-related infrastructure through baigar (forced labour) and the protection of forests and pasture lands. Following the 1965 and 1971 wars, the Hindu upper castes and their retainers fled to India. As a result, the feudal institutions that managed agricultural production and the maintenance of infrastructure collapsed. This has had severe repercussions on the natural environment of Thar. In addition, the lower castes were freed from serfdom and to some extent from discrimination. Many of their members, as a result, have acquired education and are important professionals and NGO leaders. Apart from the migration of Hindus to India, 3,500 Muslim families moved from Indian Thar to Pakistani Thar. They were given 12 acres of land per family (a total of 42,000 acres), thus introducing another factor in the social and political structure of Thar and creating a new interest group.
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It was not 1947 but the Indo-Pak war of 1971 which proved to be the game changer on this part of the border, since it was then that Hindus from Sindh, worried about persecution in Pakistan, fled to India. The cross-border train service had already been stopped following the 1965 war between India and Pakistan, and resumed only in 2006. Hindu Singh Sodha, a 15-year-old at that time he fled Pakistan in 1971, has set up the Seemant Lok Sangathan, which has been fighting for citizenship rights for all Hindu refugees from Sindh. During the war, Muslims from this region also fled to Pakistan.
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Another woman, Amnat, a resident of Umerkot had a similar story to tell. She was married at the age of 17 and her husband took her to Pakistan. She is presently 60 years old. Her husband passed away 23 years ago. “My father Abdul Karim had also migrated from Rajasthan, India to Umerkot”. One of reasons is that his daughter lives in Sindh. Her father narrated to her that at the time of Pak-India wars, Muslims in the border’s districts were robbed, killed and harassed by the Indian army, hence he preferred to migrate to a Muslim country like Pakistan to avoid confrontation. She recalled that in the 1965 War between Pakistan and India; Kaprao, Konro, Boath, Vauri, Gahrr jo Tarr, Dedohar, Mate ka Talha, Bijhrar, and a number of other border villages were evacuated. Four persons were killed in the village of Kaprao by the Indian Army based on the allegations that they had been helping the Pakistan Army.
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