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