22 September, 2020

Pakistan/ Karachi

Pakistan/ Karachi
The transit point is the black metal gate that reads Narainpura Football Club. Poverty oozes out of every dilapidated dwelling. Inhabited by minorities, Narainpura is made up of government quarters. Only the saffron-coloured 'Nishan Sahib' of Gurudwara Guru Granth Sahib Sikh Sabha fluttering in the breeze indicates that a Sikh place of worship is located behind the high wall.

On the verandah, Kishan Singh teaches a young girl her Gurmukhi alphabets. A computer programmer, he claims there are roughly 80 Sikh families in Karachi and on adjacent Manora Island. Around 25 live in Narainpura, alongside Hindu and Christian communities. "At least one family member must remain in government service to maintain the free accommodation-they cannot afford to pay rent," he says. Children tend to quit school early in order to work. But there is a faint silver lining. "Roughly 80 per cent of today's youth can read and write Gurmukhi."

The 1947 riots saw an exodus of some 2.5 million Sikhs from Pakistan. Kishan stresses that the community has faced no persecution since then....



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