Lack of governmental concern, Karachi fishermen take matters in their own hands

Karachi fishermen take it upon themselves to ensure the security of tourists

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Karachi has golden sand beaches extended over miles and miles in the edges of the city could have been the most extraordinary trait for both tourism as well as the monetary improvement of Pakistan.

Death trap
Beaches are an important source for generating revenues and support the economy of the countries. Quite unfortunately, in our case rather than a communal spot, they have turned into a death trap for tourists due to unavailability of services.


Self-guided assistance
Without any help from formally stationed coast guards, fishermen of Karachi’s beach has volunteered to guarantee the security of picnickers. While most depend on extemporary endeavor guided by intuition and an intrinsic awareness of the water. Moreover, some have obtained proficient training and fundamental capabilities to assist the tourists.

Muhammad Anwar a local of Haji Abdur Rehman Goth, near Hawkes Bay, was born into a family of fishermen. Anwar along with his father and three brothers have training in professional lifeguard skills. He believes that anglers must guard and save people from the sea.

“Children born in fishermen families are swimmers by birth. They understand the nature of the sea,” says Anwar. “Rescuing people from the sea is our obligation. It is a responsibility given to us by the Almighty, we believe, and we dispense this duty with gratitude.”

Certified lifeguard & saving lives
While speaking to the source Anwar says that he spent all his youth saving people from drowning in the sea. In 2004, Anwar became a certified lifeguard. Afterward, he worked as a technician for seven years at a Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP).
He along with 500 others were trained during a workshop to work at a funded organization, named Pakistan Life Saving Foundation (PALS) to provide beach rescue and water safety services.

PALS
Reza Samad, a frequent visitor of a beach founded PALS. Reza was of the view that Ad hoc saving efforts were not constantly effective and without an appropriate mechanism, the loss of life was high.

PALS is a non-profitable organization funded by the public and private sectors. It pays 15000 Rs per to its permanent employees along with education and training says, Anwar.

He explains his decision of working for a non-profitable organization and says, “the organization of the foundation is such that it operates solely for saving human lives.”

Negligence of government

Anwar also points out the negligence of governmental organizations. According to him, “10 watchtowers were built for lifeguards by the Pakistan Navy in 2009 but nine out of 10 of them are now in a dilapidated condition. They have crumbled over the years due to atmospheric conditions and the rise in sea level. Such watchtowers need to be repaired and a larger number of them is needed, to ensure safety at beaches”.

“The lack of funds means services [of PALS] are often constrained,” and “The foundation trains around a 100 lifeguards each year and if enough funds are available, Gaddani and Kund Malir coasts could also be secured, “added Anwar.

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