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Wokhi community complains of deprivation at annual festival

BROGHIL: The Wokhi community complained of deprivation and lack of basic necessities of life even in the 21st century as a large number of government officers visited their area to enjoy the two-day annual Broghil festival.

The Broghil festival concluded on Friday in which local people actively took part in different games and sports such as donkey polo, yak polo, Buzkushi, cricket and football. Besides, a cultural show and Wakhi musical programme were also organized.

However, a representative of the Wokhi people. complained that the government of Pakistan never bothered to end their deprivation and poverty and provide them basic necessities of life such as education and healthcare.

This festival is celebrated in late summer every year mainly to project the indigenous culture and traditions of the Wokhi people who inhabit the Broghil valley. The festival was sponsored by the Upper Chitral district administration and Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH).

Before the distribution of awards among the players and artists, a representative of the people of Broghil said it was ironic that successive governments failed to provide basic necessities of life to the inhabitants of Broghil, the strategic area on the border of the country, even 72 years after the creation of Pakistan.

He said the valley, consisting of lakes and glaciers, spreads over about 50 square kilometres but there was just one primary school for the whole population. There is also no health centre to provide emergency treatment to the patients.

Somehow non-governmental organizations, especially Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), have been helping the residents in the fields of  education and healthcare. He demanded that teachers should be provided to nine schools in Broghil which have been set up by an NGO.

He also demanded that the government should stop calling Broghil as a national park because this was badly affecting the livelihood of the locals which depended on keeping animals.

A polo ground established by AKAH was also inaugurated on the occasion. Environment activists also held a walk to create awareness among the people about the importance of the natural environment such as the glaciers.


Reporting: Muhkam Uddin Ayuni

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1 Comment
  1. Nadir Khan says

    All these dramas in name of cultural festivals such as at shandur, qaq lasht and broghil are meant to provide enjoyment and to selected few people in govt. It is a disgrace with Wakhis to appear in broghil with official protocol and witness donkey polo and yak polo and spend govt money and come back. These wakhi people are in miserable condition no ngo or govt has done anything for them. all are eating money given to them in name of poor people.

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