BOONI: Seven villages will host the Ismaili community members belonging to far-off areas who will converge on Booni for the Didar of their Imam His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan early next month.
As arrangements for the mega congregation entered final stages, Kuragh, Charun, Junalikoch, Booni, Awi, Meragram No 1 and Parwak lower have been declared the host villages whose inhabitants will be tending to all those coming to Didar from Yarkhun, Laspur, Torkhow and Mulkhow valleys. In this regard, a list of about 3,000 houses have been prepared after their owners volunteered to host from five to 100 guests each. The Sunni community has not only offered to equally host the guests but is also participating in the preparation of the Didargah near Booni.
According to information gathered by ChitralToday, around 100,000 people are expected to gather at the Didargah from different parts of Upper Chitral, including the host villages. The Ismaili jamaat has decided that all those coming from Yarkhun will be accommodated inside Booni, those from Laspur valley will stay in Awi and Meragram No 1 while participants from Torkhow and Mulkhow valleys will be staying in Kuragh, Charun and Junalikoch.
The people of Yarkhun would be asked to move at least two days before the Didar, a date for which is yet to be confirmed. Counters will be set up in each of the host villages where volunteers will receive the guests and take them to a house in accordance with their numbers. The volunteers will have the list of people in the villages who have agreed to host the guests.
According to the list seen by ChitralToday, residents of Booni, Awi, Kuragh, Meragram, Parwak, Charun and Parwak have expressed their willingness and are making arrangements to host from five to 100 people each.
Arrangements are also being made in different villages such as Bang, Brep, Mastuj etc., to facilitate the night stay of people from upper Yarkhun and Broghil valley who would not be able to reach Booni in one day. On the day of Didar, a shuttle service operated by the Imami organizations will ferry the people from the host villages to the Didargah.
Meanwhile, work on the preparation of the Didargah has entered the final phase with the construction of over 100 toilets on the riverside. The local people, including the Sunni community, are taking active part in the work and have pooled in money to prepare the venue. Local philanthropists as well as the tehsil municipal administration (TMA) have provided heavy machinery and other vehicles to help the volunteers level the Didargah.
Roads from Torkhow, Mulkhow, Yarkhun and Laspur valleys to Booni are also being repaired by the local people on a self-help basis to facilitate the Didar participants.