Tando Soomro - A Model Village of Pakistan

While Pakistan ranks high on the Global Risk of Terrorism List. Is terrorism really Pakistan's No.1 problem? In the past decade terrorist violence has claimed 55,000 lives however in the last 12 months alone 400,000 children have died under the age of 5 years making Pakistan the third largest contributor under 5 years deaths in the world. Poor health and hygiene conditions, scarcity of clean drinking water coupled with low literacy rate make this the biggest challenge for Pakistan. Average school attendance in rural areas is about 61 percent compared to 80 percent in South Asia. Clean drinking water is still a luxury in many parts of the country. 56 percent of rural Pakistan lives under $2 a day which accounts for 75 percent of the total population living below the poverty line. So health, hygiene, poverty, access to clean water and education are among the biggest problems faced by Pakistan today.

But there is HOPE.......
On a quest to improve livelihood in rural Pakistan to the perfect village initiative, UNICEF Team came across Tando Soomro, a model village in District Tando Allahyar, situated at a distance of 50km from the city of Hyderabad in the Sindh province. In Tando Soomro, the villagers together formulate a committee by electing leaders among themselves to carry out initiatives on health, safety, hygiene and clean water. Every villager contribute as low as 2 Euros and as highest as 10,000 Euros۔

In Tandoo Soomro you will see paved streets, secure sewerage drains and a proper waste management system deployed by the villagers' committee. Wooden panels are placed on every electricity pole to safeguard children from electrification while playing in the streets. Separate land is also allocated as a playground for the children of the village to play football and cricket. Everyone is facilitated with the provision of security, hygiene and health. To protect residents from common diseases like diarrhea, the committee has ensured access to clean drinking water for every villager through Reverse Osmosis Water Filter. To protect people from malaria, dengue and polio, the committee carries out frequent disinfecting spray and polio vaccination throughout the year.

The village has a government hospital which is jointly administered through a public-private partnership with the villagers and provides free healthcare facilities to everyone. The committee works closely with the government to run schools in the area to ensure 100 percent enrollment from the village hence creating a brighter future for generations to come. Special emphasis is given to the education of the female population which is evident from the high female enrollment in the schools of the village.

In view of law and order situation in the area, the villagers have built a boundary wall encircling the entire village with the entry and exit points secured 24/7 by the village representatives. Not a single case of theft or murder have been reported in the last five years in Tando Soomro.

The committee has required to represent their progress on key indicators along with a transparent view on payment collections and the budget utilization in the annual village get together.
Nizamuddin Nizamani, Pioneer Member of Tandoo Soomro Development Organization said, "People should take charge and takeover their area they live in. They should takeover their villages, their small towns and make the living conditions favorable, instead of moving to the cities. Pakistan needs this immensely, so that people migrate less to urbanized areas and cities are stopped from turning into slums and ghettos."
This is a model village in Sindh. This is how every village in our country may progress and become a model village. Developing rural areas will automatically benefit urban areas.

Source: A video documentary by UNICEF


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