is an important town in Shikarpur District
. It is a fast growing town with good literacy rate and improving infrastructure. Chak also has an important place in the district politically, socially and economically. Population is around 30,000.
The word ‘Chak’ is said to be derived from a Sindhi
’ (pot wheel) used to make pottery from clay. The clay was obtained from the ‘cheeki matti
’, the mud from the 'Kacha' area inside the nearby levees (band) bordering the town from the Indus River
. It is said that there used to live many potters in the area and the town got its name from the ‘chakki
’ (pot wheel) used by these people.
The climate of Chak is hot and misty during summer days while cold and dry in winter. Generally the summer season commences in March - April and ends before October. January in winter chills from 7 to 22 °C. The summer temperature averages 35 °C though it often shoots up to 45 °C.
Agriculture, retailer shops, jobs in government and private organizations are the main way of living. Whole-sale market is also growing up. The Bhitai Bazar & Bazar-e-Raza running through the heart of the town are the main artery of business of this small but bustling town of the locality, attracting many visitors and customers from nearby towns and villages as well. Many short bazars have also sprung up in the outskirts of the town.^^
Despite meager resources and poor infrastructure, many students from this small town have made it to the top colleges/universities in the country. Also many people are working in good positions in government and private organizations. There are primary and high schools for girls and boys separately. Few years back the high school for boys was upgraded to higher-secondary school. However, the quality of teaching and infrastructure to cater to the higher-secondary level have yet to be improved. Therefore, a sizeable proportion of students still commutes to Sukkur
for higher-secondary education.
Following are the main educational schools and centres in Chak:
- Government Higher Secondary School, Chak
- Government Girls High School, Chak
- Government Primary School for Boys, Chak
- Government Primary School for Girls, Chak
- Ideal Public School, Chak
- Shah Latif Public School, Chak
- Technocrat Computer Centre,
- Paras English Grammar Centre
The Shah Latif Library, established in 1979 by local people on self-help basis, is the town's only library. The library is named after the great Sufi
scholar and saint Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai
(1689-1752), who is considered as the greatest poet of the Sindhi language
. The library has a repository of thousands of books mainly donated by local people. Unfortunately, now it is in a deplorable condition as it is housed in a rented old tattered building. The town very badly needs a new library with state-of-the-art facilities, which is only a dream now.
Sufi soul of the town
Chak has been largely immune from the religious extremism and intolerance, as has been the case with Sindh
in general. There have been many Sufi saints in the area, whose shrines are located mainly in Hazrat Humbah, Chak. People from all religious affiliations go to pay homage to these saints year-round, especially during the annual Urs. Apart from the The Shah Latif Library and Bhitai Bazar, there are many shops, retailers and a school named after Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai
in town, which shows the attachement of the local folk with the great sufi
saint and sufism.
Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai's message of peace and prosperity not only at home but all the world, which is even more relevant today than ever bofore, is beautifully portrayed by his most famous verses translated below:
Oh God! May ever You on Sindh
bestow abundance rare;
Beloved! All the world let share
Thy grace, and fruitful be.