J&K nomads begin moving towards plains ahead of winter - Srinagar News

Srinagar, Sep 26 (IANS) As the winter is around the corner, the nomadic Bakarwal tribe of Jammu and Kashmir began moving from the upper reaches to the plains of Jammu starting October in order to avoid the harsh Kashmir winters.

by IANS | Updated Sep 26, 2022

J&K nomads begin moving towards plains ahead of winter - Srinagar News

Every year, by the end of March, thousands of nomads begin their annual seasonal journey with lakhs of sheep and goats from Jammu region to reach the Kashmir valley.

These families embark on their journey towards the alpine pastures for grazing during the summer before returning to warmer districts of Jammu region in October as the temperature goes down.

Instead of their regular movement on foot which would take weeks of marches and halts, the tribal families and their livestock have now been offered a lift.

In a first, Jammu and Kashmir's tribal affairs department used trucks for transportation of livestock and families of migratory tribal population from various highland pastures in Kashmir to Jammu districts.

A senior government official said that seven lakh people from tribal communities, including Gujjars and Bakarwals, travel every year with their livestock mostly from Jammu to Kashmir in summer and back in winter. The transport facility will reduce the travel time of some of these families from 20-30 days on-foot to 1-2 days.

The official said that migratory tribal families started their journey from central Kashmir's Budgam district to Rajouri. "District administration Shopian and budgam has made arrangements for transport and other facilities," he said.

He said that the reverse vertical migration of tribal families has started while government transport is being provided from pick-up points in district Ramban.

"DC Ramban Mussarat Zia is supervising the arrangements for them. Besides, the help-desks have been established," he added.

The official further said the administration is working continuously at different levels to safeguard the rights of tribals and will work in a mission mode for their development and betterment.

Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, Basharat Quyoom said that first batch of 10 trucks with tribal migratory families and livestock on-board from Anantnag departed for Jammu region. Out of ten, eight trucks reached safely while two are on the way.

In South Kashmir's Anantnag, several tribals while speaking to this reporter said that they are feeling very happy that the government is taking their journey seriously and helping them to go back.

"We can't believe that the government would provide us with transport facilities," says Abdul Suliman, an elderly tribal from Rajouri district.

He said that they used to face a lot of problems during their return journey. The government has now provided them transport facilities which he described a positive measure for his community.

Similarly, Mohammad Zubair Khan, another nomad, said that this year, the government has provided all facilities to them. "We hope that the government will provide us with similar facilities in the future," he said.

Arshee Bagum, another elderly lady from Poonch district said: "It used to take us about 20 days to go back to Jammu from the hills of Kashmir, but now the transport facility has been made available to us by the government.

"Now it takes us two days' journey to reach home," she said.

At Bandipora district, a group of nomads says that for the past several days, the administration has been in touch with them and is serious about sending them back to Jammu region by providing transportation.

Similarly, in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district, several nomadic families are preparing to go back from high altitudes of the district.

"When we came to Kashmir in the month of March, even then we were provided transport facilities by the government," Liyakat Khan, a 56-year-old nomad, said.

"We are preparing to go back and we will get transport facility so it will take us very little time to reach our native villages of Rajouri district," he added.

Notably, the department of tribal affairs, for the first time, also initiated an exercise to assess the state of education vis-a-vis tribal students, literacy levels prevalent among the tribal population, and based on such surveys, development of a comprehensive education plan to address specific educational needs besides the core efforts being made by the Education departments.

Another unique initiative in coordination with School Education Department is silently changing the infrastructure landscape of schools in remote tribal areas under the pilot "Modernisation of Schools in Tribal Areas" launched in 2021.

In first phase, 100 smart schools have been established across 20 districts at a cost of Rs 20 crore and more than 200 schools are being taken up this year to be provided smart classrooms.

The village development plan for this year focuses on more than 100 Village-Panchayats for quality education infrastructure.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media

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