KHAIRPUR: The 197th urs celebrations of Sufi saint and poet Hafiz Abdul Wahab Sachal Sarmast began Wednesday at his shrine in Daraza Sharif, 39 kilometres from here.
The shrine’s custodian Khawaja Abdul Haq-III and Sukkur Commissioner Dr Mohammad Usman Chachar laid a chador on the saint’s grave to officially open the urs celebrations, which began with singing of Sachal Sain’s poetry by a sung (group of Sufi singers).
Haq, on the occasion, said that Sachal Sain’s message was immortal and it could help create an atmosphere of peace and brotherhood in the world which is marked with wars, hatred and prejudices.
Similarly, Chachar said that Sachal Sain’s poetry had a message for peace, brotherhood, harmony, enlightenment and progressive thought.
There was great need today to spread the Sufi’s message to help curb extremism, terrorism and other social ills, he said.
Khairpur deputy commissioner Javed Ali Jagirani said that Sufism had rightly become synonymous with Sindh and that the message of Sachal Sain was love of humanity, pure and unadulterated.
Later, at a ceremony for the distribution of awards, Farzana Bahar received Sachal Award for the best singer, Ranjhan Faqeer Bhatti was given an award for the best Sufi singer and other artistes were given awards for their performances.
The ceremony concluded with Sufi singers singing Sachal’s kalam to the great applause of the audience.
An agricultural exhibition was also inaugurated on the sidelines of the urs in which the departments of agricultural engineering workshop, forest, health, population welfare, animal husbandry and others had set up stalls. A Sachal Musical Conference was scheduled to be held late in the night at Daraza.
Talking to journalists, Haq said the sheds installed in the shrine were quite inappropriate amid prevailing high temperatures in the area.
The devotees expressed dissatisfaction over arrangements for the urs and said that auqaf department had not made adequate arrangements this year. The complained that there was no facility of drinking water and accommodation.