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9/02/2016

Rajaki

Gilgit Baltistan is known for its pleasant weather but at times it is  harsh. Rain falls, Heavy snow
 and Storms are common in the region throughout the year  resulting  in several natural calamities . One of the biggest land slidings of this decade is Attabad land sliding of 4th January 2010. This Disaster cut off the Upper Hunza(Gojal) people from Hunza and other parts of the country for 6 years.  Though,  the newly formed Attabad Lake has become a tourist attraction at the loss of several lives and properties of Attabad  nearby villages.
We, the residents of Gilgit-Baltistan  go through several emotional traumas and physical pain  throughout the year.  These calamities have been  a routine part of our lives for years but the recent speed in climate change has affected the mountain areas the most. Land sliding   keeps the roads closed for months and sometimes it last for years.
This road block resulted from a huge land sliding in Mayoon in 2011.  We were cut off from Hussainabad for more than three years. Hussainabad's water line is from Mayoon hence people live there without water for  3 years! Which means no crop cultivation which is the basic source of income of the inhabitants.The road  was cleared last year, though, minor land sliding is a routine which lasts for some days because Local men volunteer to clear it. We do not get any aid for such destructions from the government of Pakistan  and local men who are full of civic sense come out from their homes to get things done on their own.
All the villages in Gilgit-Baltistan have a defined rule called "Rajaki" to help the community in such circumstances. Men of every single household in a particular village are obliged to come out from their homes when the village  faces a natural calamity such as a road block or water line cut off. Those families who're male members are out of the city or have younger kids pay a particular amount which is used to make food for the workers . Due to lack of interest of the government, we do not have any machinery so all the work is done manually  with the help of typical old tools. It's a tradation from centuries which has become a habit and a reason people never wait for the government to come forward for help.
If the people of Gilgit-Baltistan are aided with modern technology, the region can become an example for the country for better management and leadership as it already leads in the educational field.