No traditional Janmashtami festivities for 250,000 Pak Hindus at flood-relief camps

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Karachi, Sep 2(ANI): About 250,000 Pakistani Hindus, who have been displaced by the worst floods in the country's history, had at best modest Janmashtami celebrations on Thursday.

Fate forced them to celebrate the festival in flood-relief camps, where families enjoyed by preparing special foods, visiting temples and reciting bhajans.

Ten-year-old Sumela and her cousin Deepa, who have shifted to a flood relief camp in Karachi after floodwaters inundated their native town, said that every year they enjoyed the religious festival, marking the birth of Lord Krishna, with fervour.

However, this year, they had to be content by sharing boiled rice and gram with the rest of their family members.

Both the girls are residents of Mirpur Bathoro, a small town in Thatta district, which is located in the Indus delta region -the worst affected district of Pakistan.

Pakistan Hindu Foundation (PHF), a representative body of Pakistani Hindus, has estimated that the floods have severely affected their community living near the Indus River.

"Around 0.6 million Hindus live in the northern districts of Sindh, while 250,000 were displaced from Kashmor, Jacobabad and Shikarpur, and have been shifted to camps," The Daily Times quoted D.M. Maharaj, PHF President, as saying.

The floods have claimed the lives of over 1600 people and affected the lives of over 20 million.

Apart from the loss of lives, the unprecedented catastrophe has also destroyed crops, washed away bridges, roads, communication and energy networks, causing losses running into billions of dollars. (ANI)

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