According to data released by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, as many as 80% of Pakistan’s population can use modern communication facilities. None of these 80% live in Mubarak, a remote fishing village on the outskirts of Karachi.
The village is not far from the hustle and bustle of Karachi, 40 kilometers apart, and is built along the western coastline of the city. As one of the oldest coastal villages on the outskirts of the port city, its 10,000 inhabitants form an island-literally-in the absence of modern communication infrastructure and facilities, with few connections to the metropolis.
Therefore, life in the village is the same as many years ago, in sharp contrast to the development of most parts of Karachi.
In recent days, students in Mubarak Village cannot continue to attend classes due to lack of internet and electricity. As a result, the six-month suspension of classes and suspension has exacerbated the polarization.
After the lockdown, students across the country switched to online learning, but Mubarak Village did not. Almost none of them can access the Internet, and only a few smartphones can take online courses, let alone laptops or computers.
Eventually, when the physical education class resumed, these students found themselves in trouble and were forced to study the next lesson instead of completing the previous lesson.
Social activist and former councillor Sarfaraz Haroon condemned: “Although the schools in the village have been reopened like other places in Sindh, the students still keep the same as they were when the school was closed.”
He said that about 350 students in the government high school in Mubarak Village have resumed their studies, but many of them are unable to maintain their studies in the previous year.
Because of the huge gap that has not yet been filled, the future of Mubarak village students is in a quagmire of uncertainty.
According to Haroon, there is almost no opportunity to fill this gap.
He asked the Sindh provincial government and the provincial education department to take responsibility for the situation, and he condemned the village school’s inherently low education level.
He said that only seven teachers attend classes regularly and teach 350 students in two shifts. He further claimed that no one else, including the principal, even wants to go to school.
In addition, the village lacks other basic facilities such as drinking water, electricity, medical services and natural gas.
The blockade caused businesses to close down and made the situation worse. It severely hit the fishermen in the village and deprived them of the meager income they had relied on in the past. The sale of fish is prohibited and all hotels and markets are closed.
These fishermen and their families have no other substantive means of making money, so they can barely survive and live by mouth. What is even more painful is that companies targeting tourists have also suffered for a long time without outsiders visiting the beautiful villages.
In addition, residents of the village must walk at least seven to eight kilometers to access the mobile phone network and seek help in cases of medical emergencies such as childbirth, accidents and heart attacks.
The nearest ambulance service facility is located in Mauripur, 35 km away, and the nearest civilian hospital is 50 km away.
Life in Mubarak Village is just like that-struggling hard amidst difficult landscapes, and the landscape remains unaffected, almost cut off from the rest of the city.
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Last Updated on 10/05/2020