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JAMMU: The Gujjars- Bakerwals community members today impressed  upon the government to develop them without affecting their nomadic lifestyle. They while participant of a programme orgainsed by  Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation  today stated that the tribes deserves more attentions.  The programme was presided over by noted  Gujjar writer Dr ,  Javaid Rahi and attended by the elders of the tribal communites.


Dr. Javaid Rahi ,  while speaking in a programme stated that there is a great apprehension that the tribal migration which is an inseparable  part of Gujjar-Bakerwal culture will become a history of the past in next few decades as they feel suffocated in view a number of  restrictions. He said  that  thousands of Gujjars-Bakerwals nomads already  relinquished their centuries old  nomadic life style and  left meadows of the North-western Himalayas and  settled in plains  turned into unskilled migratory labourer or beggars.


He said a new developmental programmes of govt can stop more decline in nomadic life. The other speakers said that another reason of their non interst in nomadic life is -absence of “Disaster Management Polices’  for Tribal and pastoralist communities  especially Gujjars Bakerwals suffers a heavy loss of lives and livestock due to landslide ,  forest fire ,  snow and hail storm ,  man-animal conflict every year and due to these natural calamities the percentage of nomadic Gujjars-Bakerwals are also going down in the state.


They  suggested that government should formulate a sustainable plan to protect their  nomadic identity by providing them education ,  healthcare  ,  food security ,  social equality ,  economic stability ,    justice ,   besides communications and other facilities without changing their way of life.  They  further suggested that government should on priority formulate a disaster management policy for tribal and nomadic communities and the orders restricting the movement of Gujjars - Bakerwals   in forest ,  govt lands ,  border and strategic areas must be revoked immediately.


They said ,  since time immemorial  the Gujjars- Bakerwals communities   migrates towards  high  reaches of Himalaya into the mountains to graze in the lush meadows in April every year but now they are facing tremendous hardship. They said during the summer they move from one meadow to the other and start their  back migration  to plains in the month of October ,  but the harsh- weather affecting their migratory way of life badly. They are Scheduled Tribe  in J&K and constitute around 20% of total population of  State ,  but are without rights. Besides Jammu and Kashmir state ,  the nomadic Gujjars of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pardesh are also facing identical problems ,  they said.