THARPARKAR: Amazing success of the pilot project by a non-governmental organization to grow vegetables at drought-ravaged Tharparkar enables two hundred families to attain self-sufficiency in food and say adieu to living permanently on outside support and charity. Different kinds of fully bloomed vegetables blanket barren and sandy tracts of land at Islamkot tehsil of the district to the delight of growers as well as passersby. The success of the project also proves the skeptics wrong who always question the sagacity of any such overture in the desert area. A UK-based organization Human Appeal International had launched the project almost a year ago with an aim to facilitate local people making a smooth transition from living on outside support and charity to self-reliance by focusing on agriculture. As a prerequisite to the initiative, solar powered water pumps were installed at selected villages of Islamkot. Benefiting over 20,000 people, the pumps relieved the people from pulling out water from bottomless wells through human carts. They also changed their life style with more focus on health and hygiene practices. To make the best use of extra water availed from the pumps; Human Appeal initiated a kitchen gardening project in the area. After a careful soil testing and field assessment, 200 farmers, including women, were selected for a four months long training in the area. The focus of training remained seed growing, pest management and seed banking. “Through the project, we wanted to send a loud and clear message to one and all that are living on charity and outside support that it was no solution to the problems faced by the people of Tharparkar. They have to be made self sufficient in food and agriculture which holds the key to it”, said Nisar Ahmad, the country director for the Human Appeal International. He also disclosed that his organization had decided to replicate it in other parts of the area to help people attain self-reliance to fight out poverty and drought like conditions in the area. The Human Appeal has been working in different sectors at Tharparkar and is committed to promote a culture of self-reliance in the area. Apart from humanitarian support and supply of clean drinking water, it has supported a large number of expectant and lactating mothers to overcome undernourishment through the provision of food supplements and special diet. It also plans to introduce certain species of plants which are rich in nutrition both for human beings and livestock which is the backbone of local economy.