By Nimra Waseem, TMM07,
Pictures by Furhan R. Hussain
The Sindh Agrarian Reforms Committee along with many civil society organizations arranged a twelve-day Long March for the rights of the local harees of Sindh. The Long March started from February 15 in Hyderabad and will end on 26, 2009 at the Sindh Assembly Building in Karachi .
One of the main institutional constraints in the decreasing share of agriculture in the GDP of Sindh is the highly distorted land ownership pattern and defunct tenancy system. Sharecropping is the predominant form of tenancy in Sindh where the land ownership distribution is particularly skewed. The peasant community feels that the existing Sindh Tenancy Act (STA ) of 1950 has become irrelevant and does not fulfil the rights and needs of the peasants and fails to address the contemporary socio-economic situation in the rural society of Sindh.
The civil society firmly believes that this particular protest march would be an important tool for policy advocacy in the areas of labour rights, labour legislation and social justice.
The March of Peasants for Agrarian Reforms arrived at Ghaggar Phatak near Port Qasim on the afternoon of Feb 23, Monday where the Textile Institute of Pakistan (TIP) threw a ‘welcome’ reception for them.
Dr. Zubair Bandukda (President TIP) and Dr. Aly Ercelawn formally welcomed the Haris. Faculty and students interacted with the group to get first-hand knowledge of their problems. Some students and members of faculty and administration of TIP, in solidarity, marched with the Haris for a small distance.