Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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    Wamized-A place of calmness and pristine lifestyle

    The first village in union council (UC) Terich in district Upper Chitral, Wamizhed is located almost 7000 meters above sea level. It appears unique by its pristine lifestyle, mores and people’s togetherness.

    Wamizhed is about 40 km from Booni—headquarter of district upper Chitral, and 16 km distanced from Shagram. It’s included in Village Council Terich Payeen with Surwaht, Dok Lonkoh, Longol, Lasht Lonkoh, Wrenzno, Nichagh and Pokht. The village comprised of five hamlets: Skup, Cheghrandoor, Khokan, Zaq Manak and Cheq Manak. There are 72 households in the village as per its UC data. Local affirm that more than three times of its current households have left the village and settled in different places outside.

    There is one Government Primary School (GPS) and a Madrasa for education of the children. The current enrollment in GPS is fifty. According to the head teacher of GPS Wamizhed, Mr. Iqrar Uddin, the literacy rate of the village is 90 percent other than the aged population.  

    The life cycle of the people of the area revolves around the availability of water in springs for good harvest, fodder for livestock and beauty of the place. The water sources remain enough or scarce either depending on snowing and rainfalls.

    For both drinking and irrigation water comes from springs that are channelized further for watering. Every hamlet has its own spring(s) that is used for both purposes. The people still fetch water for drinking from nearby spring(s) for household usage. A piped water for drinking is available only in GPS Wamizhed. 

    The distribution of water for irrigation is based on old ‘rationing in rotation’ (sorogh) whereby spring water is distributed in two ways: soroghdar and chatogh. As told by locals, former thirteen soroghdars have two fraction of water out of the total water, and latter four use one-third of it, as per the old module of water rationing system to date.

    During a conversation with locals, they resolved that the water tank (anno-chaat) where the water is being stored during night, and used for watering during daytime, has been constructed during state period between 1940 to 1950s by the local ruler using the manpower (bol-doyo) had come from Lone and Gohkir.

    The area is said to has been rich for wheat crop, and people take their seed from this village in suburbs. Other than the major crop of wheat, corn, barely and pulses, shirju, gras, olin and shintiki is cultivated in the area.

    The wild plants common to Chitral have also been there in Wamizhed. There are junipers, birch, and other indigenous wild floras, and fruit-bearing plants except grapes. Some people have now planted cherries in house gardens. The plants in the area appear to be limited. Since the area remains cold during winters, locals bring fuelwood from lower Chitral. Its transport turns double to its price reaching there in the village.  

    Vegetables are also grown here for domestic use like other places in Chitral. The local carrot is said to have been famous in the area. As said, there the cuisine of Ghalmandi is quite different from the common way of making it in Chitral. Mushrooms also grow in season little upland in the area.

    The source of income of the people comes from employment in both private and public sector and livestock farming. The ploughing of lands is still common along machine cultivation, and keeping large number of livestock. For the last few years, locals have once again switched to taking the village livestock to uplands by turn because now they cannot leave their animals in transhumance without protection from wildlife.

    The village receives heavy snowfall like Istaru, Zezdi and Ujnu in Torkhow during winters but the area is naturally safe from all natural hazards causing from heavy snowing and rainfalls. Partly because of underground water, its no-drainage mechanism, and heavy snowing, water logging remains in some places in the village. The houses of the people can be seen with cracks in the walls, and along the walls of doors and windows.

    There are two road heading to the village: one comes from Drulasht and another via Nishko. During winters the road from the former remains closed for traffic and latter happens to be all-weather road.

    Having been away from other villages, the people of Wamizhed bequeathing their agelong mores and way of living. During the events, especially in marriage and death rites, they follow the values of togetherness, cooperative living, support and sharing gloom and bloom together. Other than the customary practices, locals still follow the custom of bringing wood along food to the bereaved families on specified number of days: usually three days, during deaths. And the traditional way of the celebrating marriage events is common. The locals have a view that there every wedlock is arranged.   

    The people till recent past used to take their grains to Lonkoh’s watermills for grinding. It’s distanced between five to six km road goes downward and upward for travel. By that time donkey was the only animal did this burdensome job for locals.

    The power supply for the area comes from national grid, and some people have self-arranged solar systems for light.

    The area has also been famous for its human capital. The known people in the area have served in health, agriculture, education department, administration and society are: Dr. Khalid Iqbal, Mr. Baburuddin, Dr. Noorul Islam, Mr. Pinin Shah, Hidayatul Islam, Abdullah Khan, Mr. Salahuddin, Mr. Merajuddin, and Mr. Sadiq Ameen.

    Mr. Shakir Uddin, Mr. Zainul Abidin, Mr.Attiq Ukasha, Mr.Jaffar Uddin and Mr. Sadiq Ur Rahman  currently serve in PIA, Higher Education, WWF and WAPDA and politics.  

    Even the area has produced qualified human resource over time but one among the reasons of village Wamizhed’s backwardness, according to Mr. Iqraruddin, is its location, (being on high altitude) away from the roadside, and challenge of easy access for political leadership and government functionaries to visit it.

    During the discussion with locals they expressed the urgency of health facility for the area, piped water for drinking, primary school for girls, reconstruction of water tank, widening of road, vocational center for women and promoting cottage industries for rugs and other products.


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