Funds for Moenjodaro
IT is at long last that a sum of Rs100m has been allocated to maintaining, conserving and building some facilities at Moenjodaro. Much more is needed for the effort to be meaningful. The magnificent site that should have been the pride of Pakistan has been neglected so much that it was virtually taken off the tourism map for sheer lack of facilities to and at Moenjodaro. What lies ahead is the difficult task of rehabilitating this ancient Indus Valley Civilisation site on the tourism map, with hopefully some money going to the critical head of conservation. A rising underground water table and high saline levels have over the years caused much damage to the prehistoric remains. Moenjodaro lay unattended due to lack of initiative and funds on the part of the federal archaeology department, which was the erstwhile custodian of the site. Now that it has been handed over to Sindh after the passage of the 18th Amendment to the constitution, the provincial government would do well to form a committee of experts and set about conserving this most spectacular of our prehistoric sites.
Given its years of apathy, the Sindh culture ministry should now look at creating awareness about the historical value of Moenjodaro so that it comes to be owned by the people and becomes an emblem of pride for them. This is necessary because conservation of the site as well as the setting up of tourism facilities to and at Moenjodaro cannot be done in isolation of the public’s sentiment and its association with it. This means that more needs to be taught in schools about the significance and the global appeal of the Indus Valley Civilisation besides encouraging field trips by students to Moenjodaro. Given the conservation challenges alone, international expertise and funds must also be sought to help conserve the prehistoric site.