Gypsies of Lahore revisited: Rwadari Tehreek looks in on the underprivileged Pakistanis

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Marking the 69th Independence Day of Pakistan, socialist group Rwadari Tehreek team called on the gypsies settled near the bank of Ravi River. “As we were busy celebrating the I-Day, there were still many disadvantaged Pakistanis-including women and children who are devoid of basic life necessities.”

Rwadari Tehreek visits gypsies on the bank of Ravi river

In a social media statement, Chairman of Rwadari Tehreek Samson Salamat stated that these gypsies need immediate attention from the Federal and Provincial governments. He said that at least, political leadership should visit these gypsies and at least look into their plight. “In this 21st century badly-off living conditions are a disgrace.”

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These gypsy settlements is not a new occurrence, over the past 10 years, the encampment swelled into an entire community of gypsy tribes-which houses inhabitants hailing from various districts of southern Punjab, predominantly from Jhang. These nomads are in essence, marginalized socially and dispossessed of basic rights.

Samson Salamat detailed that the gypsy children chanted the slogans of “Pakistan Zindabad,” at the same time they sang, “Dil Dil Pakistan.” He further detailed that majority the inhabitants of this settlement come from Changar, Odh, Bhatu, Jogy, Kenghar, Bazigar, Gurajmar, Gugray cast. These gypsies stay here for few weeks, months and sometimes even years.

There are about 400 tents in this settlement, the occupants make both ends meet by begging. These gypsies are unable to provide healthy living conditions for their children, and are rendered helpless but to sink deep down into the mire of poverty.