Karoonjhar hills, located in Sindh, have a rich historical background, and there is a deep, rather poetic sense of attachment the locals have for the range, including a whole set of myths associated with it, like, for instance, the misplaced belief that it produces gold in massive quantities. It has immense significance for the local Hindus, as there are several places sacred to the community. One of the notable legends associated with Karoonjhar is the story of Roplo Kolhi, a rebellious figure who fought against British rule in the area. The hills are said to have provided shelter and a strategic advantage to Roplo and his followers during their resistance movement. This historical connection has further enhanced the cultural heritage of Karoonjhar.
In addition to their historical and cultural importance, Karoonjhar hills are also known for their rich biodiversity. Thousands of herbs and shrubs, some with even medicinal properties, are found on the hills. However, despite their significance, Karoonjhar hills have faced threats over the years. Influential individuals and organisations have attempted to exploit the resource-rich hills for their own gain, which has always been strongly condemned and resisted by the local community. The exploitation of the hills not only damages the natural beauty, but also threatens the delicate balance of the whole ecosystem.
For the last few months, a movement to save Karoonjhar has gained momentum across social media platforms, drawing attention to the potential dangers the hills are facing. Unfortunately, the relevant authorities in the province had floated a tender published in local newspapers to grant a lease for the exploration of Karoonjhar hills for minerals. The advertisement should have actually mentioned the word ‘exploitation’ instead of ‘exploration’.
The action has earned wide condem-nation from the local community as well as environmental activists. They are raising their voices in opposition of the potential lease, advocating the preservation of Karoonjhar hills. It is crucial for all concerned to listen to these voices, and take necessary steps to protect this natural and historical treasure. The concerns should be taken seriously, and preservation of this unique natural resource should be prioritised.