January 2019 News

Provide Food Security To Nomads, Demand Gujjars

13 January 2019
The Tribune

Jammu: The Gujjars on Sunday sought food security for nomadic seasonal migrants in J&K claiming that the community was facing a scarcity of foodgrains. They demanded inclusion of all nomads in the below poverty line (BPL) category. The Gujjars also urged the state to formulate a programme to eradicate poverty among nomadic tribes. The demand was raised during a meeting to discuss the issues confronting the community. Prominent community representatives said Gujjars and Bakerwals, facing poverty and illiteracy, were unaware of the schemes being launched by the state and Central governments to uplift them socially, economically and educationally. 'Poverty is rampant among the community members who are always on the move. Many are without ration cards due to which they are not able to get foodgrains,' said Javed Rahi, a noted scholar and founder of NGO Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation. The community members claimed that a majority of the Gujjars and Bakerwals were left out in the BPL list during the survey as they were under seasonal migration whenever the survey was held in the state. 'Lakhs of nomadic tribes, mainly Gujjars, Bakerwals, Gadiis, Sippis and Changpas, move from from upper reaches to plains. But now, they are facing a lot of problems due to changing times,' said Shaukat Choudhary, a community member.