Bandi Mera

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Bandi Mera

North West Frontier Province

A beautiful village

By Malik Ajmal

Dawn

BANDI Mera

BANDI Mera is a beautiful village. It is 20kms away from the historical city of Abbottabad in the North West Frontier Province. The famous resort of Nathiagalli is situated about seven kilometres from Bandi Mera. The village of Bagnotar is in its east, Bagh and Chahan are in the west, whereas Nagri Bala is in the south and the village of Khun is situated towards north. Like other beautiful places in the region this village is full of wonderful scenes. There are no signs of pollution whatsoever. Tall green mountains, a thunderous waterfall, and a variety of birds dotting the sky make the village a sight to behold.

The village covers an area of about 10 square kilometres. It is surrounded by mountains strewn with pine and some other types of trees. There are three water streams which impart a pleasing look to the region. From mountain top one can see the Kaghan valley, Naran, Thandiani and even the Murree hills.

The population of Bandi Mera is approximately 10,000. Most of the local people have migrated to other big cities of Pakistan in search of employment opportunities or to acquire higher education. The reason for this is that there are no big or small industries and institutions in the village. A large number of people are shifting to Karachi on a regular basis to get good jobs or acquire higher education.

Inhabitant of the area plough their farms despite the fact that the land here is not uneven. People have been cultivating maize and wheat for long. Besides these crops, some vegetables are also grown for daily use. Some time back people used to grow potatoes, but nowadays nobody cultivates them because young people have no interest in farming. Apricot, peach, apple, and black grapes are the fruits grown in the village. Some people earn a living by selling these fruits.

The Karrals, the Rajputs, the Abbassis and the Awans belong to this village. They have blood relations with each other. Their disputes are solved by their elders. Some of the serious cases are referred to courts. Shalwar Kameez is generally worn by the villagers. Some older people use turbans as headgear. Due to limited income many people have purchased houses/plots and have started living in Abbottabad to ensure their children a better future. However, some of them prefer to live in Bandi Mera at any cost.

The people of Bandi Mera want to educate their children. But there is only one government school up to the primary level and one middle school for girls in the region. There is no furniture available for students and they sit on the floor in their respective classes. There is no high school either. Students have to walk for about four kilometres to reach their schools. The only high school is in the village of Bagnotar. Physically weak students or young children face a lot of difficulties to reach Bagnotar, especially during the winter season.

The weather in the region remains moderate. From November to March it is generally very cold. In January 2005, record snow fall was witnessed, which was about 15ft high. Many people died because of it. When winter starts people stock edibles. May, June and July are considered hot months.

Power failure is a routine thing in the winter. When there is heavy rain or snowfall, electric wires get snapped because of the load and it is difficult to carry out maintenance work because due to blocked roads and mountains. Kacha Road leads to Bandi Mera through Murree Road. It normally remains open; but it is very difficult for vehicles to ply these roads because of the their poor condition. The construction of Karlan Bagh Road started somewhere in 1964 but owing to substandard quality of work it is still incomplete. Every year a hefty amount is allocated for the purpose, but influential people keep the road under construction to get some more funds for the time to come.

There is so much for tourists in this village that if the government gives some attention to the region, it could turn into a tourist resort. Its value is enhanced by the fact that it lies midway if one’s going to Naraan and Kaghan.

The people of this beautiful village are very simple, hard working, honest and dedicated. They are loyal to Pakistan. They are playing their part in the development of their beloved country. They pay taxes to the government. They are striving hard to make the economy of the country sound and strong. They help their sons join the armed forces of our country to defend their motherland.

Last year, the earthquake destroyed this beautiful village. Houses were damaged and people were not able to live in them. But again, the steely resolve of the people helped them survive the shock of their lives.

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