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Women’s Initiative resolves tribal feud

By: Ramzan Chandio

KARACHI: The tribal feuds in northern parts of Sindh are not new and have claiming several lives. Even, police not dare to go in tribal conflict-stricken areas.

Mrs Naseem Khoso, a resident of village Mad Khosa of union council Mungrani, Taluka Lakhi Ghulam Shah in district Shikarpur, the area which is commonly known as one of the worst place of the country for women. Honor killing, forced marriages, childhood marriages, tribal feuds, jirgas name any wrong practice, everything happens there.

Naseem’s first initiative and achievement is really a miracle. Her tribe, Khaso has a dispute with Shar tribe. The old tribal feud among two tribes started on issue of property of 13 acres area of agriculture land, which so far took lives of 38 persons including 6 women during last ten years. Leader of village level Local Support Organization, Mrs. Naseem told The Nation that when ‘Sindh Rural Support Organization’ (SRSO), a non-governmental organization with the initiative of Sindh government came in their village and organized the women of her village under Union Council Based Poverty Reduction Program (UCBRP), she started working with them. She was first elected the president of the community organization and then the president of village organization. Though she has the education of only five classes but she was trained by SRSO to conduct meeting, maintain the record of everything, open and run the bank account of the organization.

While not seeing the women of neighbouring village of Shar tribe, she was disappointed. As her tribe, Khaso has a dispute with Shar tribe. The old tribal feud among two tribes started on issue of property of 13 acres area of agriculture land.

Naseem along with other women of organization took an initiative and decided to go to Chuttal Shar village to convince their women to be the part of Local Support Organization (LSO), a union council level organization. She narrated that she was shocked when she saw women representing 30 different villages were present in the meeting except the women of village Chuttal Shar.

“I decided to go there; every one stopped me but along with my fellows went there. When they saw us they were shocked. We requested them to come to our village and participate in the LSO meeting, their male family members were not happy and they had doubts about their security. We assured them about their security”, she said.

On the other day, a delegation of women of village Chuttal Shar participated in LSO meeting at our village, Naseem told this scribe, adding that then we all decided to settle the dispute.

She continued, “When we shared our views with our male family members we faced a very strong reaction from both the sides, but we were determinant, therefore we convinced our male family members and the dispute was settled. We had already decided in our LSO meeting that the land which was the bone of contention will be distributed among the families of those people who have lost their live in that dispute.”

The initiative taken by a woman has become a positive example for others in the area to shun the differences and work for empowerment and progress of the people of area jointly.

Naseem’s father is a landless peasant; therefore she has grown up working in the fields. Like other women of the area she worked hard from reaping the crop of wheat in the very hot days of summer and rice in the very cold days of winter, besides she also works in the house from cooking to cleaning. She has four kids. She was living a life of an ordinary woman until 2009.

She is very sensitive about the education of kids. Because of her consistent efforts, primary schools of village Mad Khoso, Jhando Tanwari, and Ahmed Sheikh are functioning now. To make these schools functional she has to fight with the influential people of the area.

Telling about the school of Jhando Tanwari boys primary school, she said that the school building was captured by a local land lord, he used it as his warehouse, we requested him to vacate the school building he refused, we called the meeting of LSO general body meeting and more than one hundred women of different villages went there and took his all stuff out of the school building.”

The Nation