Sindhi story booklet

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Story booklet for WWF.

Transcript of Sindhi story booklet

  • Once upon a time there lived an old woman in a settlement near Keti Bunder. She loved nature such as plants, animals,

    mountains, rivers, sea, scenes of sun set and sun rise over sea, jumps of fish and lush mangroves among others. Every

    night she used to tell fairy tales to her grandsons and grand-daughters by sitting around the bonfire in their village in

    Keti Bunder. Her name was Bhagbhari. She had a son named Mehran who also loved nature and was head of a local

    organization in the same village.


  • One day, it was announced on FM-92 by WWF-Pakistan's Building Capacity on Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Areas of

    Pakistan (CCAP) project that cyclone was developing in Arabian Sea. District government informed over radio that all people

    should leave coastal belt and take refuge at elevated safer places. They should also take belongings including cattle and other

    expensive assets. As soon as people heard that announcement, they rushed in panic. Schools were closed and children left for the

    homes. People did not know what to do and where to take refuge. Boatmen howled 'there is cyclone in Arabian Sea'. Women,

    children and old looked more perplexed than men. Everyone was in a great trauma. Everyone started to pray and raised their

    hands towards sky. Cyclone is to hit coastal belt within 12 hours, proclaimed someone.


  • Suddenly, by God's miracle, cyclone changed its direction and slowed

    down in speed. Later on, it was announced that cyclone would not hit the coastal belt

    of Pakistan. People heaved a sigh of relief and became very happy. They also

    distributed sweet rice among themselves.


  • The second night, as usual, children sat around the bonfire. Bhagbhari, an old woman in the village, also came

    there and sat among them. Wrinkles on her face indicated her old age, sagacity and wisdom. She had

    radiance in her eyes and beauty that could be glimpsed from her wrinkled face. Children started to ask her

    questions about cyclones and storms. Meanwhile, Mehran, son of Bhagbhari also came in.


  • Little Naimat asked a question from grandmother. Did you ever witness such cyclones when you were a child like us?

    Bhagbhari: No, little Naimat. We never heard about these types of cyclones and storms in my childhood.

    Zulekhan: Grandmother, you say that you did not experience such storms and cyclones, then, why frequently are

    they hitting coastal belt in recent times?


  • Bhagbhari: Zulekhan, sea was totally different from what we observe today. The beach was covered with thick timmer

    (mangroves) forests. Now these trees are called with new names.

    Mehran: Yes, these are called as Mangroves

    Bhagbhari: Yes, my son. You are right.

    Aasat: Grandmother, what are the benefits of these mangroves?

    Bhagbhari: I have heard and observed that there are many benefits of these mangroves. These trees can provide

    protection against storms and sea intrusion. They resist strong surges and act as defense line against soil erosion.

    Asad: Please, tell us more about the benefits of mangroves?

    Bhagbhari: I want to take you to mangroves area tomorrow and then tell you about their benefits


  • The second day, grandmother along with children reached mangroves area and told them further about the benefits

    of mangroves.

    Children! Mangroves are the guardians of coastline. They act as a breeding ground for shrimps and crabs. Fishermen sell crabs

    and shrimps to earn money. The entire coastal belt from Karachi beach to Rann of Kutch was home to these mangroves.

    These are the beautiful creation of God. Storms cause less damage due to thick mangroves in coastal belt. But, if there are

    no mangroves, storms and cyclones can be very devastating.

    Sarang: Mehran, you have been working with some organizations in this area. Please, tell us more about them.


  • Mehran: Yes, why not. It has been informed by representatives the organization that these mangroves are the essential part of

    our ecosystem. Different species of fish grow there and they act as nurseries for crabs and shrimps. These are also home to

    various bird species which include cranes, egrets, kites etc. In addition, they provide feed to camels and other animals. They also

    protect us from negative impacts of climate change.

    Asad: These are very beneficial trees. Also, tell us about the different species of the mangroves?


  • Zulekhan:Then why these mangroves

    have been reduced? What are themain reasons behind their


    Mehran addressing the children said that: There are more than 30 species of mangroves across the world. Once, there

    were 8 species in Pakistan but due to various threats, only 4 species survive in Pakistan, of which 2 of them grow in Keti

    Bunder which include grey mangrove (Avicennia Marina) and red mangrove (Rhizophora mucronata). We are very grateful

    to the CCAP project of WWF-Pakistan for providing us with so many hectares of Avicennia Marina and Rhizophora in

    village Gili Sholani of Keti Bunder.


  • Bhagbhari: My little daughter, mangroves grow in mixed fresh as well as saline water of river and sea. Due to reduction in

    freshwater flow, saline water is destroying them. They do not receive required freshwater because it is not released

    downstream Kotri. Other factors which are responsible for the destruction of the mangroves include environmental

    degradation and ruthless cutting by people. They cut these mangroves for fuel and graze their camels which destroy mangrove

    saplings under their feet and cause decline in mangroves cover in the area.

    Sharing more details about destruction of mangroves, Mehran added that:

    One of the major reasons for destruction of mangroves is climate change. Due to this factor, temperature of the Earth has

    increased up to 1.4C. Climate change is also adversely impacting the infrastructure, human settlements and cropping patterns

    in Keti Bunder.

    Zulekhan: It will cause great damagethen what measures should be taken to protect these precious mangroves?


  • Bhagbhari: My daughter, it is our responsibility to create awareness about these mangroves among public at large. Mangroveshave many benefits, therefore, we should prevent camel herders from grazing animals in mangroves area and do not let otherpeople to cut them for fuel or other commercial purposes. We have learnt that since last few decades, an organization namedWWF-Pakistan has been working in country for conservation of endangered species, reducing pollution and creating harmonybetween humans and nature. In addition to this, it protects ecosystem diversity, strives for conservation of mangroves and

    creates awareness among people. I have heard that WWF-Pakistan has planted mangroves over 7,500 hectares of land inThatta district. I think that if similar plantation is done by other organizations and community people, then the entire

    coastline will look green. Likewise, if you look after these plants, it will result in not only the growth of plants but it would havepositive impacts on the environment.

    These trees will benefit you in protecting your home and will provide nurseries to fish species, crabs and prawns. Resultantly, itwill increase the income generation capacity of the fishermen and the parents could afford better education for the children.

    This will eventually bring betterment in the area. You should remember these things!


  • Aasat: Grandmother, who should protect these mangroves?

    Bhagbhari: In fact, government departments, NGOs, civil society organizations and the local people should protect these

    mangroves. You should raise awareness among your contemporaries and elders about benefits of the mangroves and tell them

    that these mangroves provide defense line against tsunamis and storms.

    All the children lauded grandmother and said 'previously, you told us stories about fairies but now you have told very useful

    story about mangroves. We all pledge today to protect mangroves and will forbid the people who cut them or will register case

    against them according to environmental laws. We along with government departments, NGOs and civil society organizations will

    prevent camel herders from grazing in mangroves area. We will ask them not to throw litter or plastic bottles into sea which

    damage mangrove plants.


  • Then, all the children including grandmother and Mehran left for creeks with an aim to forbid people who damage

    mangroves. As they arrived there, they saw a few camels were grazing there and were causing damage to mangrove

    saplings. Children, grandmother and Mehran derived the camels away and persuaded the camel herders that they should not

    repeat this practice in future. They also saw that some people who were cutting mangroves. Then they went to them and

    told them that mangroves are essential part of our ecosystem so instead of cutting, they should conserve them for our

    sustainable future. They also persuaded the people that they should not throw garbage into sea.


  • Meanwhile, they saw that a vehicle was approaching them. WWF-Pakistan officers came out of in and patted children for

    their spirit and efforts. They informed grandmother that they had nominated her for WWF'-Pakistan's upcoming

    conservation award. Children and grandmother were very happy to hear about it. Children promised to officers that they

    would emphasize the local people and other organizations to plant more mangroves in t