Flora and Fauna
The province is mostly arid with scant vegetation except for the
irrigated Indus Valley. The dwarf palm, Acacia Rupestris (kher),
and Tecomella undulata (lohirro) trees are typical of the western
hill region. In the Indus valley, the Acacia nilotica (babul) (babbur)
is the most dominant and occurs in thick forests along the Indus
banks. The Azadirachta indica (neem) (nim), Zizyphys vulgaris (bir)
(ber), Tamarix orientalis (jujuba lai) and Capparis aphylla (kirir)
are among the more common trees.
Mango, date palms, and the more recently introduced banana, guava,
orange, and chiku are the typical fruit-bearing trees. The coastal
strip and the creeks abound in semi-aquatic and aquatic plants,
and the inshore Indus deltaic islands have forests of Avicennia
tomentosa (timmer) and Ceriops candolleana (chaunir) trees. Water
lilies grow in abundance in the numerous lake and ponds, particularly
in the lower Sindh region.
Among the wild animals, the Sindh ibex (sareh), wild sheep (urial
or gadh) and black bear are found in the western rocky range, where
the leopard is now rare. The pirrang (large tiger cat or fishing
cat) of the eastern desert region is also disappearing. Deer occur
in the lower rocky plains and in the eastern region, as do the striped
hyena (charakh), jackal, fox, porcupine, common gray mongoose, and
hedgehog. The Sindhi phekari, ped lynx or Caracal cat, is found
in some areas.
Phartho (hog deer) and wild bear occur particularly in the central
inundation belt. There are a variety of bats, lizards, and reptiles,
including the cobra, lundi (viper), and the mysterious Sindh krait
of the Thar region, which is supposed to suck the victim's breath
in his sleep. Crocodiles are rare and inhabit only the backwaters
of the Indus and the eastern Nara channel. Besides a large variety
of marine fish, the plumbeous dolphin, the beaked dolphin, rorqual
or blue whale, and a variety of skates frequent the seas along the
Sind coast. The pallo (sable fish), though a marine fish, ascends
the Indus annually from February to April to spawn.
The Narayan Jagannath High School at Karachi was the first
government school established in Sindh. It was opened in October
1855. The province has a high literacy rate compared to other parts
of Pakistan, mainly due to the importance of Karachi. The major
academic institutions of Sindh include the Aga Khan University,
Bahria University, University of Karachi, Sindh University, NED
University of Engineering and Technology, Institute of Business
Administration (Karachi), Dow University of Health Sciences, National
University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Liaquat University
of Medical and Health Sciences (Jamshoro), Mehran University of
Engineering and Technology, Quaid e Awam University of Engineering
and Technology Nawabshah, Isra University Hyderabad, Hamdard University
Karachi, Baqai Medical University Karachi, Shah Abdul Latif University
Khairpur (SALU), Chandka Medical College, Peoples' Medical College
Nawabshah, Sindh Madarastul Islam Karachi, D. J. Sindh Government
Science College, and the Indus Valley Institute of Art and Architecture,
Shaheed Z. A. Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology Karachi,
Sindh Agricultural University Tandojam, Iqra University and the
Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology,Institute of
Business Administration (IBA) Sukkur.
There are six Cadet Colleges also. Admission to state run educational
institutions in Pakistan is based on the provincial level. The other
three provinces have a merit-based intraprovincial admission policy.
Sindh is an exception to this general rule, where admissions are
allowed on district domiciles of the candidates and their parents.
This arrangement discriminates against meritorious students of Sindhi
ethnic background, denying them admission to educational institutes
and courses of their choice. Currently there is a lot of resentment
of this admission policy. Sindhis are demanding intraprovincial
merit-based admissions to state run educational institutes, similar
to the one existing in other provinces. This will provide equal
opportunities to all students of Sindh. Furthermore, the armed forces
have also entered the education sector. They are funded by government
and operate like private costly education providers.
Arts and crafts
The skill of the Sindhi craftsman continues to exhibit the 5000-year-old
artistic tradition. The long span of time, punctuated by fresh and
incessant waves of invaders and settlers, provided various exotic
modes of arts which, with the passage of time, got naturalized on
the soil. The perfected surface decorations of objects of everyday
use - clay, metal, wood, stone or fabrics, with the floral and geometrical
designs - can be traced back to the Muslim influence.
Though chiefly an agricultural and pastoral province, Sindh has
a reputation for 'Ajrak', pottery, leatherwork, carpets, textiles,
and silk cloth which, in design and finish, are matchless. The chief
articles produced are blankets, coarse cotton cloth (soosi) camel
fittings, metalwork, lacquered work, enamel, gold and silver embroidery.
Hala is famous for pottery and tiles; Boobak for carpets; Nasirpur,
Gambat and Thatta for cotton lungees and Khes. The earthenware of
Johi, metal vessels of Shikarpur, relli, embroidery, and leather
articles of Tharparkar, and lacquered work of Kandhkot are some
of the other popular crafts.
The pre-historic finds from different archaeological sites such
as Mohenjo-daro, engravings in various graveyards, and the architectural
designs of Makli and other tombs provide ample evidence of the people
in their literary and musical traditions.
Modern painting and calligraphy have also developed in recent times
and some young trained men have taken up commercial art collections.