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Desert Dwellers’ Meaning and Existence of Spirituality: A Gendered Case Study of Cholistan, Pakistan

India’s Look/Act East Policy


Cholistan is the second largest desert of Pakistan, which is locally known as, Rohi (Mughal, 1994). This paper is an ethnographic endeavour that sketches living in the desert and is about the traditional way in which they handle desolateness and powerlessness in that severely parched earth. Men and women seem to appear primordially linked to and in agreement with their environment. Their contentment is heartfelt, an aspect that seems to emerge from their belief that there is a spiritual solution for every problem. This indication forms the crux of this paper and as authors, we make a humble attempt to collate their narrative and how they make meaning of components of their living, and the importance they accord to spirituality in their lives. Deeply ingrained human and ecological values in life include contentment and presence of spirituality within their life surrounds which allow them to sing an ode of gratification to nature. This article presents evidence of adoption of spirituality as resilience and its effect on the emotional wellbeing of the desert dwellers. In our discussion, we present the evidence to suggest that spirituality has strengthened and enhanced resilience of the people for coping with the adversities of the lifecycle in a rather hostile environment of Cholistan.


Spirituality, Women, Desert Cholistan, Ehnography, Pakistan


Author Biography

Aisha Shoukat

Dr  Aisha Shoukat is  Lecturer, Department of Social Work, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan, Email:  


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