JK News Today

Jammu, August 23:

The Gujjars and Bakerwal community today demanded that the government of Jammu and Kashmir may initiate new Educational  schemes  for Schedule Tribes keeping in view their difficult  habitats and migratory way of life.

The issue was highlighted in  group discussion on Webinar organised by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation.. Noted Gujjar researcher Dr Javaid Rahi presided over the event. 

Dr. Javaid Rahi in his presidential address said that  extreme poverty, rough and tough living,    early marriage system and nomadic customs are causing dark shadows over the future of  lakhs of  nomadic Gujjar and Bakerwal  children residing in the most backward, hilly and border areas of Jammu & Kashmir . He said tribal  children are more laborious as they work  within their family  from early age of schooling.

He said as per census  data 2011 seventy  percent of Gujjars and Bakerwals  of  Jammu and Kashmir are  facing  poverty and  illiteracy . He said the situation , as per data is  quite alarming rather distressing. He said that the female literacy rate is extremely low . He said the Gujjar-Bakerwal women folk is worst sufferer with  82.2% illiteracy as said in the data released by Registrar General of India.

He said , to eradicate illiteracy among tribal Government should initiate  new educational scheme to for nomads.

He said that

 The  other speakers exhorted that  government should  promote educational  schemes for   tribal groups on a “mission mode” to  end large disparity in literacy rates among  Gujjars-Bakerwals   and other communities . Gujjars are lagging behind  in  literacy due to poverty as socio-economic parameters are also responsible for their backwardness

They said that   both the tribal groups are facing extremely low literacy rates in  comparison  to  other  tribes of  Jammu and Kashmir and  suggested affordable and inclusive education programme for tribal groups.

They said As per 2011 census national literacy rate among STs  in 13 Districts of Jammu and is extremely low among  Gujjars and Bakerwals Kashmir in comparison with National  literacy rate as per Census 2011  of 73 per cent.They demanded more initiatives in this direction

The speakers said that  nomadic children  are used  as human resources to enhance the income of a family   and they lack   proper education, health care facilities in early age.

The speakers suggested that ‘Forced Schools” should be opened in tribal localities to educate the nomadic Gujjars and Bakerwal children as  most of the parents are not ready to sent their kids  to School owing to migratory way of life and low tribal economy.

They said that the government should  started  same type of compulsory free Education for the children of  Ajjhari (Shepherded  Gujjars) , Manjhi (Cattle rarer Gujjars) as the parents   are deliberately  denying education to their children and using them as human resource in  their day to day work.

Ch Ishtiaq Misbah , Dilwar Chowdhary,Shafiq Kassana, Ameer Din, Khadam  Hussain and others also spoke on the occasion