June 2007 News

J&K Gujjars have different grievances

2 June 2007
The Hindu
Staff Reporter

Arnas : As Gujjar protests simmer in Rajasthan for their inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes category, the community in Jammu and Kashmir is voicing concern over the lack of educational facilities for its members to take advantage of the Scheduled Tribe status which was accorded to them in 1991. Educational schemes for the Gujjar community in the remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir lie in tatters as there is large-scale absenteeism of teachers. Mobile schools were started by the State Government in the late 1970s to take literacy to the community living in far-flung areas. Now, at various places, the scheme is simply unheard of. In the Arnas area of Reasi district, there is not a single mobile teacher.Noor Chowdhary, a clan head, says mobile schools have stopped functioning as the teachers who were appointed for the job never turn up for duty. Earlier, teachers used to cite militancy and keep off. Though the scourge has declined, they are still reluctant to take up the assignments.


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