Lake Kalankar: A Lost Natural Resource
The pain of the Mallah Community and some suggestions for the long-lasting sustainability of Lake Kalankar, near Dhoronaro Umerkot!
Man has to make many efforts just to fill the empty stomach that works hard day and night to support himself and his children, but some people also work hard but due to lack of resources they go back in the evening with empty pockets. But the difficulties of Mallah community are even biggest, it happens every day, and they go home empty-handed every evening. One was the Mallah community that perished in the coastal belt and the other is ruining their lives in the sand dunes near Lake Kalankar.
They say that if we give a toy to a hungry boy he will not play with the toys because he needs food, not a toy, and another example Ali Akbar Rahimoon always gives in his great discussion, one man by pointing a child at the moon in the sky and asked from the boy what is this? And the hungry boy replied this a whole bread “Yeah Ek poori Rotti hai” the situation of the Mallah community is similar to those of both hungary boys those who do not want the moon and toys they all need two loaves of bread, nothing else.
This community is going through a very hard and tough situation and time because the Sindh Government has done Jhangal mei Mangal, but in the forest, the hunger is the same, the problem is the same.
We have always learned to talk, but we don’t want to learn to sustain of tourism places we never looked over the economic and social aspects and that’s exactly we are doing with a Lake Kalankar, we built a visiting place, but we forgot about the people associated with them and never talked about its sustainability and future marketing and resources.
Not to the extreme, in other countries, the authority spends all its resources on specific areas, but here the system is also reversed. The third party has indirectly hired two people to manage the lake, they have not any contract letter from the cultural department; Two persons have been hired indirectly by the 3rd party for lake management, a boatman, who runs the boat and takes care of everything related to the lake, but he is receiving only Rs 3,000 per month and another person who is the watchman (Chowkidar) of this resort, who is receiving 2000 per month. In fact, it is a very small stipend, the poor people are receiving. This is not permissible according to the minimum wage.
You also can take as a reference for many projects in India, they have done the great work to save the tourism places and cultural structure in their country, India has made all this from out funding sources, they developed a proper strategy for sustainability of these visiting places, and they are at the forefront of protecting and saving their assets at any cost. In the strategy, they look at every single aspect and think most of the people who are local and in need, but we don’t have that at all here in Sindh, we make biryani and distribute it among our nearest and dearest people.
This is exactly happening in our country especially in Sindh our entire tourism places are being destroyed day by day. Let’s take the example of Lake Kalankar near Dhornaro Umerkot, Sindh. Sindh Cultural and Tourism department under the leadership of the Mister Sardar Shah spent a lot of money and built the resort in the area, but we forgot its proper sustainability we did not create the proper strategy to run this resort and filling the resort’s expenses.
This resort neither benefiting the local people nor the outsider. There is no doubt that the Cultural and Tourism department has taken the good initiative and make the Lake Kalankar more beautiful but the local people are not happy with this lake, we observed during our last visit at Kalankar on dated July 30, 2020. A group of our friends spent the entire night in this lake we have taken the views and comments from the local residents.
Suggestions to improve Lake Kalankar
The Cultural and Tourism department should have added three things further in its plan
First, there should have been a paved road from which everyone can go there easily. Due to the lack of road, the number of visitors decreases, because locals are not even earning a single penny to meet their daily expenses. Because a person needs at least a thousand to fifteen hundred rupees to visit the Lake Kalankar because not everyone has 4×4 vehicles.
If the road is built, there will also be an increase in the number of visitors, and in this way, their income will also increase and which would have made the locals more prosperous.
Secondly, there is no proper sustainability plan for the resort management if left unmanaged, they can be left astray and lose the right path we desperately need to plan for its proper utilization. This resort needs to be changed at a cost-effective hotel so that visitors who go to buy and eat something will benefit the locals as well.
And the third, Malah community of Lake Kalankar said that the water here is very bitter and brackish and fish do not grow in this lake. The Cultural and tourism department should work with fisheries department or other experienced firms to come up with a systemic and long-lasting model so that more and more all kinds of fish are produced in this lake, and they also support the locals and fish reach the surrounding communities of Dhoronaro and other cities of Umerkot district.
The same income should be utilized into its further development of Lake. It is not necessary for the entire investment to be made by the Sindh Tourism and Cultural department we can generate huge income if we have a long-lasting sustainability plan, the things made will not go bad and there will be more development in the area and people will be happy.
We were discussing the Mallah community, there are more than 60 houses on Lake Kalankar, but they are deprived of all the basic facilities like road, electricity, health, even the school is not in the area, the literacy rate in the Mallah community is zero percent for both men and women. I just want to ask the Department of Culture and Tourism to provide them all the basic facilities so that they can live like other educated classes.