WASHINGTON – Several Sindhi American activists are on an arduous nearly month-long journey, dubbed the “long march,” from New York to United Nations headquarters in Washington, DC, to highlight human rights violations in the province of Sindh in Pakistan.

The march, which began on April 7, is organized by the Sindhi Foundation led by Sindhi activist Munawar Sufi Laghari.

“Twenty-seven years ago, I came to the United States of America, to New York… I walked here every day, thinking of my mother and my father, and my brother, as well as to my Sindhi people. I promised myself that one day I will represent my people of Sindh at the United Nations of America, ”Laghari said.

Munawar’s feet are swollen and his legs are numb, but he is in a good mood. He is supported by another prominent Sindhi activist, Fatima Gul.

Even as the incessant rumbling of raindrops fall on Gul, the lingering crackle is cut off by his sturdy steps marching forward. It’s just a prospect that she says that gets her going.

“This whole process of making the ‘long march’ a reality has been brutal, but still not as brutal as all the atrocities against the Sindhi people – not as brutal as the atrocities against children in Pakistan and Hindu Sindhi girls. Gul told ANI.

Entitled “Long March for Freedom, Nature and Love”, the event will cross five US states: Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

Along the way, participants meet community members, other human rights groups and even political leaders who want to support the fight against climate change and human rights violations.

Prominent members of the US Congress stand in solidarity with and support Pakistan’s minorities. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Native American Raja Krishnamoorthi, Carolyn Maloney, Jamie Raskin, Adam Schiff and David Schweikert sent video messages in support of the long march.

“Marginalized communities around the world live their days in fear of persecution and with our planet warming and the Antarctic ice caps shrinking day by day, there is no time to waste. In the face of a pandemic that has pushed our country into a year of mourning, a worsening climate crisis and rampant human rights violations, marginalized people around the world stand together to demand an end suffering, ”said Representative Krishnamoorthi.

The idea for the long march arose out of the appalling realities of the southeastern Pakistan-Sindh province.

Issues such as enforced disappearances, the plight of Sindhi women in Pakistan, environmental issues in Sindh and even something as basic as water have been among the main concerns of the people of Sindh for decades. And countless voices seemingly fall on deaf ears of those who could make the change.

The Sindhi Foundation is determined to end its long march in Washington, DC in front of the Lincoln Memorial on April 29.