Sadiq Gabol – ‘Rakhhwal’ of Rannikot is no more with us

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Although not employed by Sindh Culture & Tourism Department or any other government department despite repeated requests, he continued to work on his own and looked after the treasure of Sindh. Sadiq Gabol, virtually, was the ‘Rakhhwal’ (Watchman) of Rannikot

By Aziz Kachailo

Sadiq Gabol, the world famous guide and host of tourists, visitors and  researchers at  historic fort – Rannikot,  known as Great Wall of Sindh, is no more with us.

Gabol, 70, had been suffering from some skin disease since last few years, which had restricted his movement, and was almost in bed rest, but according to reports he  suffered a sudden cardiac attack a couple of days back at his home located in a village in the limits of Runnikot.

Although not employed by Sindh Culture & Tourism Department or any other government department despite repeated requests, he continued to work on his own and looked after the treasure of Sindh. Sadiq Gabol, virtually, was the ‘Rakhhwal’ (Watchman) of Rannikot.

He had on his credit a record of having attended thousands of visitors, researchers and tourists from all over the world and arranging lodging and boarding in this remote hilly area of Khirthar Mountain Range in the western part of Sindh province of Pakistan. HE was always and round present at Rannikot keenly waiting for tourists and researchers.

“This is my hobby, pleasure and source of livelihood, which keeps me and my family alive, as there is no any source of income here inside the fort for me and other people of the village,” he had told about two years back during the visit to ancient fort.

“I am still looking for a low-grade government job like Watchman or even the peon here inside the fort to keep watch at this fort and also to guide the visitors because I have some kind of affection with this fort since the childhood,” Gabol had said.

“This fort gave us refuge since the ancestors,” he said recalling that since the childhood he attended as guide more than 50000 people from around the world visiting this site.

Sadiq Gabol was in fact an encyclopedia on Rannikot like late Ali Nawaz Khoso was on Thar and Karonjhar Mountain in Nagarparkar.

Gabol recalled that since his childhood he also attended lot of British, French, German and other European as well as local scholars, researchers and archeologists, top-ranking bureaucrats, and political leaders including Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, nationalist leader Saeen G. M. Sayed, Dr. Louis flame, Dr. Kaleem Lashari, Dr. Rafiq Mughal, Dr. Neelofar Shaikh, Taj Sahrai, Badar Abro, Ishtiaq Ansari, Hakim Ali Shah Bukhari, Anwar Pirzado and several others.

Gabol maintained a visitors’ book wherein he insisted visitors to leave their comments. The visitors’ book, he maintained so, was his the only earning of his entire life. And no doubt, his Visitors’ Book is of great importance being the only historical document having the record of all the visitors of Rannikot.

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