KARACHI - The Gora Qabristan, a cemetery in the metropolis, is one of the oldest cemeteries of the Christian community in the Sub-continent. Founded in 1839, this graveyard was also used as the burial place of British soldiers killed in World War I and World War II. But, at present, this historical cemetery in a very pathetic and dilapidated condition because neither the government functionaries nor the rich communities in the City never bothered to undertake any effort for its maintenance. The basic factors behind the poor condition of this cemetery are the dilapidated artistic tombstones that were once in a classic touch and presented splendid piece of art. But now dozens of them facing dilapidation because either their relatives have left the City or not in a position to maintain these tombs. The history of the Gora Qabristan is more than a century. The Care Volunteer Group, a Karachi-based organisation working for the rehabilitation of Gora Qabristan, has expressed its concern over the ruined and dilapidated condition of the cemetery. The volunteers of this organisation visit this graveyard every Sunday and do cleanliness and maintenance work on their own with an objective to preserve this historical place. The Care Group also welcomes voluntary support from all local churches to strengthen its voluntary campaign. When contacted, a spokeswoman of the Care Group, Ms Stephannie Rodrigues, said that her organisation was working to create awareness among members of the Christian community about the maintenance of this cemetery. She said that not only the condition of the tombs, but the overall set-up of the cemetery was in shambles. She said that many old tombs have been defaced, broken, vandalised and stolen by the miscreants and outsiders. Ms Stephannie added that her organisation had also contacted director of the Heritage Foundation, Ms Yasmeen Lari, seeking help to preserve the tombs and other old graves. She said that Yasmeen Lari personally visited the Gora Qabristan last week and reviewed the overall condition of the cemetery. Lari also assured all possible help to rehabilitate the cemetery, she said. Ms Stephannie further said that maintenance and rehabilitation of the tombs would require funds and her organisation was working on voluntary basis. She appealed the Sindh Archives Department, Heritage Foundation or CDGK Archive Department and the Cantonment Board to extend their generous help in terms of security, cleanliness and funding requirements to rehabilitate this historical cemetery. Stephanni Rodrigues was of the view that as Sindh government had undertaken the task rehabilitating old graveyards in the province such as Chukandi Graveyard, it should also allocate funds for the maintenance Gora Qabristan.