End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

end hunger, achieve food
security and improved nutrition
and promote sustainable agriculture

As pilot projects, the Foundation is currently partnering with some of the best organizations available including Karachi University; Pakistan Agricultural Research Centre (PARC); Xinjiang University in China & Tando Jam University. The Foundation is working in close collaboration with the local farmers to help develop their capacity to farm using saline water.

bio-saline

A revolutionary step using technology transfer has also been launched in Thar to introduce bio-saline agriculture. Thar has traditionally been dependent on rain-fed agriculture – an unreliable form in an area where drought is endemic. Bio-saline agriculture has the potential to revolutionize the socio-economic landscape of Thar, ensure food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Highly saline ground water drawn from the depth of 180 meters as part of mining activity is being used to grow fodder and crops. As pilot projects, the Foundation is currently partnering with some of the best organizations available including Karachi University; Pakistan Agricultural Research Centre (PARC); Xinjiang University in China & Tando Jam University. The Foundation is working in close collaboration with the local farmers to help develop their capacity to farm using saline water.

fish-farming – aqua-culture
in the heart of the desert

Followed by the successful Bio-saline agriculture at Thar Block II, the Thar Foundation has initiated breeding fish in the man-made Gorano Reservoir, where brackish and saline ground water is stored.

About 7 species of fish including Morakhi (Mrigal Carp), Rohu (Labea Rohita), Theli, Kuriro, Gulfam, African Catfish, and Dangri (Barramundi) are being raised in the project. Around 100,000 small fishes of these species were released, as seeds, at the outset of the project which have now been grown into fully mature fish. The fish raised at Gorano are purely organic with no artificial chemical used at any point of breeding and has been declared fit for human consumption by medical laboratories. The fish farmed at the reservoir will be used as a source of livelihood as well as nutrition for the local population specially the students of Thar Foundation schools.

end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

health for all,
a humanitarian imperative

Tharparkar district in Sindh is ranked as one of the lowest in the country with regards to health indicators. It continues to make headlines for the high number of maternal and child deaths due to malnutrition and poor health care. Lack of health education and the practice of early marriages lead to girls giving birth starting as early as age 12. The current Maternal Mortality Rate is as high as 297/100,000 live births while the Infant Mortality Rate is as high as 87/1000 live births.

Malnutrition and stunted growth are by products of poverty, negligence and lack of awareness in terms of community healthcare. In addition, due to its desert environment, Thar is frequently in danger of a drought.

For the sustainable development of Thar, the Foundation’s goal in collaboration with the Government of Sindh, is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for people of all ages. It aims at improving health indicators in the desolate Thar region with long term sustainable interventions. In order to do this, Thar Foundation’s main partner in implementing its health programs is The Indus Hospital, Karachi.

In underdeveloped and remote regions like Thar, great determination, passion and resolve is needed to bring about improvements. The Thar Foundation and Indus Hospital are working tirelessly to bring much needed change for the people of Thar and their better health. Thar Foundation aims to make Islamkot a model Tehsil for health conditions and facilities in Sindh – a model that can be followed by others.

marvi clinic

A basic OPD facility for mothers and children, by the name of Marvi Clinic was also established in has been in operation since 2015. Our flagship intervention, Marvi Clinic, has improved the lives of thousands of Thari women and children. Clinic operations are managed by The Indus Hospital through the Indus Hospital Network and are focused on providing primary health care.

Clinics under this flagship program are established considering different aspects so that best part of the surrounding communities could benefit from the free medical services. It is constructed near the vicinity of project interventions at a point where it could cover a radius of 20-30kilometers. Thar Foundation has worked with its implementation partner the Indus Hospital Network to ensure presence of female doctors across all its medical interventions in the community. Moreover, the clinics also provide free of cost EPI facilities, laboratory tests and numerous outreach programs aimed at providing access to better healthcare. Some of these programs include free vaccination, cardiac health camps, pediatric consultation camps, awareness sessions of preventive healthcare and disorders amongst others. As part of our outreach efforts all residents of Thar Block II have been screened for diseases such as TB, Hepatitis B and C with diagnostic treatment under way for patients tested positive for the said disease. Currently the Marvi Clinic is operational at two sites – the Thar Block II and Gorano with a total coverage of approximately 50-60 kms.

Understanding the importance of community health, the clinic also has a specialized outreach team. This disseminates health awareness as well as holds specialized sessions on seasonal and preventive healthcare.

thar foundation
hospital, islamkot

As a longer-term goal towards contributing to SDGs, Thar Foundation has plans to operate a state of the art hospital in Islamkot town – the main hub of commercial activity in Thar.

The hospital will be a collaborative project between The Indus Hospital and Thar Foundation.

The hospital facility will:

  • Focus on Mother and Child Health Care and other medical facilities relevant to the needs of the area.
  • Be linked with Indus Hospital at Badin and Karachi for emergency and advanced treatments ensuring a swift referral system.
  • Be constructed and functional, in stages, by end of 2020
  • Be actively seeking funding partners and donors
  • Launch its first phase of 82-bed hospital by the end of 2018

To fulfill our promise of a better healthcare provision for all Tharis, the Thar Foundation Hospital will strive to be the most efficient and affordable tertiary care hospital across Thar.

mobile clinics and
auxiliary programs

The Thar Desert’s vast terrain is sparsely populated, and clinics are only accessible to a few. In order to ensure that medical care is provided to all, Thar Foundation is developing mobile clinics. Each is to be fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and a dedicated team. This will ensure penetration in even the remotest communities, without having to invest in infrastructure and clinic development. Thar Foundation’s first mobile clinic will be operational in Islamkot Tehsil by end of 2018.

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and
promote lifelong
learning opportunities
for all.

prioritizing education,
inspiring change

The region of Tharparkar has long been educationally deprived of quality educational systems since schools are few and enrollment very low. Even in comparison with the rates in other parts of the province of Sindh, students here drop out more frequently to contribute to the limited family incomes. Consequently, the literacy rates are one of the lowest in the province.

Tharparkar is ranked 109th out of 114th reported districts in Pakistan on Human Development Index.When Thar Foundation began its journey in the year 2015, only 3.5% girls and 22.7% boys over the age of 25 had secondary education.The adult literacy rate among girls under the age of 15 was as low as 16.8% and 52.2% for boys. The number of years spent in school was 7 months for girls & 3.8 years for boys, on average. Whereas, only 19% of the girls & 47% of the boys got the chance to complete their primary education. Thar Foundation, in collaboration with Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), is working to make Islamkot the first SDG-Compliant Tehsil in Pakistan. Since education is essential for the successful implementation of all of the 17 goals, therefore, Thar Foundation has made education one of its priority goals.

Today, in Islamkot alone, Thar Foundation – in collaboration with its partners – is operating 24 school units with over 2500 students enrolled & a student to teacher ratio of 1:25. Thar Foundation has signed various MoUs with private sector institutions to provide vocational training and scholarships for higher learning to both men and women of Tharparkar and Sindh. Our achievements give us the strength to pursue our dream of a progressive Thar and with the help of education, by the year 2030 Thar will become the first SDG-Complaint Tehsil in Pakistan.

In order to combat this pattern, SDG4 ensures inclusive and equitable quality education and access to a functional schooling experience for local children and youth - promoting lifelong opportunities for all. The Thar Foundation is establishing a network of schools in the main towns of Thar and around Islamkot, which will focus on providing affordable, quality primary and secondary education.

5000

students capacity

24

school units

04

aduit literacy centres

To this effect, the Thar Foundation has partnered with one of the leading education sector NGOs - The Citizens Foundation (TCF) – a leading organization working in the education sector which has established over 1,500 schools across Pakistan with a focus on providing quality, low cost education to the underprivileged. Together with TCF, Thar Foundation has demonstrated a keen resolve to improve the educational statistics of the region by establishing a network of purpose-built primary and secondary school units which run on solar energy.

To date the Foundation has established a network of 24 school units and plans to increase these to around 40 school units by 2019. These schools are jointly managed by Thar Foundation, TCF and Charter for Compassion. – resolved to work together to improve the education in the region.

The Thar Foundation is also working on education endeavors at the macro level by developing a more comprehensive, transitional approach towards medium/language of instruction. In this connection, the Foundation is sponsoring adoption of 3-Language Formula in Thar Foundation-sponsored schools which entails graduating students to learn in their mother tongue (Sindhi); national language (Urdu) and eventually learning in the universal language (English).

To nurture the Thari youth to become empowered professionals, Thar Foundation is also working to establish avenues of higher learning for the youth in Thar. In collaboration with the Higher Education Commission, Thar Foundation aims to establish a world-class campus of University at Islamkot. Development has already begun for this initiative. Moreover, the Thar Foundation has partnered with institutes like the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) and Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) to provide various higher education opportunities for the Thari youth.

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

achieve gender equality and
empower all women and girls

A measure of a truly evolved society is the role and status of its women. The Thar Foundation aims to empower Thari women and reduce gender disparities by providing them with the necessary skills to enhance their employability, and also to provide them jobs through the project and the Foundation-led initiatives.

women dump-truck
driving program

Currently, in a revolutionary step in this remote region, where females do not even know how to drive, the Thar Foundation is providing training for dump truck driving for 26 females who have commenced driving operations of dump trucks. A true trend-setter for socio economic empowerment of local women and inspired by the success of the pilot program, the project is currently working to commence its second batch of trainees.

kaargah

The idea behind establishing Kaargah is to empower women through marketing their handmade products and support them by enhancing their capacity in handicrafts business by eliminating middle men influence. Keeping in view, the Thar Foundation has started to purchase handicrafts directly from working women at reasonable rate and to sell it at the Kaargah Shop in Thar Block II. The project has also inked an agreement with Daraz Pakistan to ensure online sales of the Thar handicrafts. Since the Foundation has eliminated the middleman factor by directly placing orders with these artisans, these men and women – young and old – have started earning considerable amount and making their families prosper through increased socio-economic opportunities now available to them.

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

ensure availability and
sustainable management of water
and sanitation for all

Tharparkar ranks the lowest in terms of drinking water and sanitation access amongst all the districts in Sindh. Although there is prevalence of underground water, it is found at a great depth and it is not easy or affordable to construct wells to extract water for drinking purpose or everyday use. This causes great hardship and health challenges for the local population; therefore, the Thar Foundation aims to provide safe drinking water to the residents of Islamkot.

reverse osmosis plants

The Foundation is currently operating over 11 Reverse Osmosis Plants spread across Thar Block II and adjoining areas. The combined installed capacity of the RO Plants is 230,000 gpd and the average water provision to the communities is approximately 32,000 Litres per day and almost 1 million Litres per month, reaching out to and benefitting over 25,000 individuals in households and families across our areas of influence. To date, these RO Plans have cumulatively produced 15 Mn Liters of WHO Compliant Drinking Water.

Moreover, in order to ensure that our communities have access to clean drinking water – especially the young children who are susceptible to various water-borne diseases – the Thar Foundation provides clean drinking water to all students in Thar Foundation supported schools reaching out to approximately 5,000 students. Govt of Sindh has also recently handed over 08 RO Plants located within Block- II to Thar Foundation have a cumulatively production capacity of approximately 165,000 gpd. Thar Foundation will be carrying out revamping & Operation & Maintenance of these 08 plants at its own cost and by April 2019, clean and safe drinking water will be accessible to all the residents of Thar Block-II.

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Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

promote sustained, inclusive
and sustainable economic growth

Human resource development by the Thar Foundation is an essential component of sustainable growth. According to the SDG framework, the Foundation’s aim is to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Inspired by our aim to promote sustainable livelihoods, Thar Foundation has instituted some of the following programs:

khushaal thar

In order to concentrate efforts for providing livelihood opportunities to the local population, the Foundation established the ‘Khushaal Thar’, a centralized facility which registers local Tharis for training and employment through a database was established. The centralized database is linked both to the project for industrial human resource requirements and to the community. Once entered into the database, the individual is trained and then presented for evaluation to be employed. Most of the skilled human resource working on the mining and power project are from Block 2, and the communities around the project. More than 1000 Tharis have been trained for scaffolding, masonry, steel fixing, pipe fitting & driving.

Considering that the burgeoning industry in the district of Tharparkar cannot accommodate even 10% of the total Thar population, the Thar Foundation has started different skills development programs with regards to engineering and technology – Thar Information Technology Program is one such program which aims at equipping the Thari Youth with the skills required of the modern age.

The Foundation in partnership with the Saylani Welfare International Technology (SWIT) aims at training selected young Tharis in the field of Information Technology to become professional web and app development through a 1.5-year long program covering different modules on Basic IT training, English language, web and Android app development. The personality grooming will be an essential part of the entire program.

The Thar Foundation in collaboration with the Technical Training College Daharki has started 3-year DAE programs for young Thari students in order to prepare them for potential technical employment opportunities at industrial plants. Thari applicants applied for this 100% scholarship program and, after carrying out the required verification, 619 candidates qualified for the test.

For the final selection, considering different standards of the Thar Foundation and TTC Daharki, 30 candidates were finalized after interviews, medical tests, documents verification and other necessary formalities. These students are competing with the other students of the College and the records show that they outshine their peers.

One of its kind, the Thar Trainee Engineers (TTE) Program depicts the Thar Foundation’s commitment towards developing and mainstreaming local Thari talent. Through this program, the Foundation has tried to bring the young Thari engineers up to par with tier I university graduates and enhance their market acceptability and employability.

As part of the program, selected 73 young engineers have been trained in the 6-month O&M Training in China on modules involving theory, simulation, and on-site training. They will now serve as engineers at EPTL’s 660MW Power Plant in Thar Coal Block-II.

khushaal nari

With an aim to empower women of the area, the Thar Foundation has initiated a dedicated project, Khushaal Nari, which trains and supports women of the area to become entrepreneurs and market their products. In its first phase, the Foundation has successfully turned 20 individuals into trained vendors who are now our proud entrepreneurs.

As a first, the Thar Foundation awarded contracts of worth Rs2.1million to these women entrepreneurs to stich student uniforms for the TF Primary Schools – they successfully delivered the first consignment in time.
Furthermore, in order to meet demands of the potential future industrial ventures in the area, the Foundation is training the women entrepreneurs to be able to take up industry-level orders in bulk.

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and
sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

build resilient infrastructure,
promote inclusive and sustainable
industrialization and foster innovation

Resettlement: Thar Foundation is cognizant of its role to develop Tharparkar into cities of tomorrow. This starts at the micro level from the various villages that formulate the tapestry of Thar. Thar Foundation together with some of the leading urban planners has developed the resettlement framework for the village of Senhri Dars. The new housing community features access to all basic and modern amenities of life and will be a stepping stone in improving the quality of life for the residents of this model village who will have access to the following facilities:

  • Schools
  • Hospitals & Clinics
  • Reverse Osmosis plants
  • Parks
  • Waste Management system
  • and Community Centers

The Resettlement Framework has been critically designed keeping in mind the natural ecosystem, social fabric, lifestyle and traditions of the Thari people.

islamkot master plan

Moreover, to achieve the goal of sustainable cities and communities, the Thar Foundation aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. In collaboration with Sindh Government’s Directorate of Urban Policy & Strategic Planning, the Thar Foundation is facilitating a Master Plan for Islamkot Town to ensure that Islamkot becomes an SDG compliant tehsil in all respects. The master plan of the town will:

  • Optimize future industrial growth
  • Plan residential and commercial areas
  • Guide urban, economic and infrastructure development

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Village Improvement Program: Under its initiative to harness the true power of building communities are sustainable, Thar Foundation has also commenced the Village Improvement Program (VIP). Under this project, Thar Foundation aims to deploy infrastructural improvements to existing villages in terms of providing access to basic amenities and hence improve the quality of life for thousands of people living in these spaces. The VIP aims to provide communities with solar power to increase their access to energy/electricity; establish pit latrines; make street pavements; provide public amenities and drainage & sanitation facilities.

Gorano Bagh is another such initiative created at the Gorano reservoir which hosts an artificial pond with over 100,000 fish species; dedicated play area for children; and Thar’s largest water fountain. In order to promote eco-cultural tourism in Tharparkar, the Thar Foundation has also signed an agreement with Hashoo Foundation which will work towards creating tourist spots in Thar.

bashir ansari park and
gorano bagh

In addition, Thar Foundation believes in creating modern spaces within the infrastructure set up of Tharparkar so the communities can benefit from access to these shared spaces. To this effect, the Foundation has constructed the Bashir Ansari Green Park – a modern recreational park providing communities with a green space to spend time. The Bashir Ansari Green Park has play ground and recreational rides for children with a functional zoo as well.

Thar Foundation and its associated companies believe in the agenda of good growth and, therefore, works towards creating inclusive development and growth opportunities for the communities that host us. To date through its industrial associations, the Thar Foundation has developed over 100 vendors in and around Islamkot by providing and creating various small-to-medium enterprise opportunities. These vendors are provided with business support; increased project experience to develop their capacity; mentoring to enhance their quality of service; and provision of economic opportunities to create a sustained stream of income.

Together with long term sustainable plans to ensure improvement of social and cultural conditions in Thar, it is important to understand that there are many natural and man-made disasters that the area is prone to. These include earthquakes, fires, drought conditions and famine etc. For this reason, a Disaster Management Cell has been formed under the ambit of the Foundation.

This cell has worked on the rehabilitation of various villages such as Odhani, Vakrio & Bhando Sado amongst others to rebuild new homes and restore their livelihoods following the aftermath of the deadly fire incidents in these villages.

To combat such disasters, the Thar Foundation has established fully-equipped emergency response and rescue teams, thus enabling Thari communities to mitigate and manage disasters as the Foundation continues its work on relief, rescue and rehabilitation in the region – truly rising to the occasion as first responders in Tharparkar.

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Take urgent action to combat climate
change and its
impacts.

take urgent action to combat
climate change and its impacts

As the world’s 9th largest subtropical desert, Thar remains dry for much of the year with a high propensity for wind erosion. High velocity winds blow soil from the desert, depositing some on neighboring fertile lands, and causing shifting sand dunes within the desert. While classified as a ‘green desert’, Thar for most part remains an arid region – but Thar Foundation together with its partners is all set to change the parched, desert landscape of Thar; and to this effect has commenced the ‘Thar Million Tree’ project.”

thar million three

Thar Foundation and Sindh Forest Department (SFD) of the Government of Sindh have signed an agreement to plant trees on a large scale in Tharparkar with special focus on Thar Block II and adjoining areas. Under the partnership, Sindh Forest Department will provide continuous technical support to the Foundation for planting of 01 million trees with provision of saplings under the Green Pakistan Project free of cost.

To date, approximately 350,000 tree saplings of various indigenous species have been planted under the initiative covering around 100 acres of land with a total carbon reduction/processing capacity of 8,250 metric tonnes per year. When reaching its full potential of 1 million trees, the Thar Million Tree Program will be able to process and reduce carbon footprint worth 22,000 metric tonnes every year.

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