By Nizam Samoon
Photos by Rajnesh Raja
Mud houses, narrow streets with no drainage system, no power and toilets are a common sight in any Pakistani village. All the above description does not fit on one village: Tando Soomro, in the district Tando Allahyar, a province of Sindh, Pakistan.
A village which stands out from the rest of rural areas in its development surprising anyone who has seen the usual villages. The villagers keep their village neat and clean because they treat it just like their own house.
The villagers proudly say that they enjoy all the amenities of a city while living and enjoying a life of a village. Thanks to the budget which is raised by the villagers themselves to deliver some public services including waste disposal system, running water and a school and a hospital.
Every year, the budget, worth around seven million is made by the villagers who contribute to the joint fund which is spent on the welfare and development of the village.
A resident of the village, Roshen Ali told PakVoices, “This village has become an amazing place to live as it’s attracting people from cities back to the village life.”
He continued, “We have been getting all these facilities for the last five years which has transformed our village into a model village.”
Using the fund, people have set up a primary school in Tando Soomro which is no less than any modern school. A committee, comprising notables of the village, works to ensure 100 percent enrollment of children in the village. For educating the girls of the village, a separate girls school has been established with the fund.
Rais Soomer Khan, the chieftain of the village, told PakVoices, “We collect funds from people for their own welfare with check and balance mechanism in place in the form of a committee.”
According to the census statistics, the population of Tando Soomro is around 8000 with a diverse community including Hindus and Muslims.
The economy of the village is based on agriculture with a majority of people dependent on it either directly or indirectly. Tando Soomro has a fertile soil with sufficient water, yielding a great output of every crop.
Tando Soomro has a government-run hospital which is jointly administered through a public-private partnership with the villagers. The village fund is used to hire the services of good doctors at the hospital who provide free healthcare facilities to everyone in the village.
Nizam Samoon is working with PakVoices as a citizen journalist from Mithi, Tharparkar.
Rajnesh Raja is a professional photographer.
Edited by Hasan Khan