Gujjars Seek Special Provision for Nomads in NFSA

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Group of Gujjars

The Gujjars and Bakerwals of Jammu and Kashmir Sunday sought inclusion of a special provision in newly introduced National Food Security Act (NFSA), to benefit the nomads.

The community elders while participating in a programme organized by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation – a frontal organization of community – stated that special provisions are required to be included in the Act and SRO whereby the ration may reach to migratory tribes as well at their place.

Dr Javaid Rahi, Secretary of Foundation, in his presidential address stated that government may include a provision in the Act on the prototype of United Nation’s World Food Program run to combat malnutrition among sedentary and non-sedentary groups to invest in human resources.

He said around 6 Lakh nomadic tribes mainly Gujjars – Bakerwal Gadii and Changpa migrate annually along with their cattle to upper reached since centuries.

“They are not available at one place like other communities to take ration,” said Dr Rahi and hoped that CAPD Minister Ch Zulfkar Ali may draw an innovative scheme for nomads before implementing the Act.

“This is a significant decision and with the implementation of Act the marginalized communities including tribes may get a siege of relief   as they were facing extreme adversities due to their tough lifestyle, lack of economic freedom besides food insecurity, owing to low income and deficiency of resources the adversities,” said Arshad Rashid, a participant.

“Due to their wandering way of life and tribes are not only food insecurity but they face acute shortage of basic facilities, absolute illiteracy and lack of health facilities, the speakers said. The NFSA, if implemented with new approach, in tribes, properly, it will change their economy in next few years,” speakers said.

The speakers said equitable growth of country and state cannot be achieved without eradicating poverty by guaranteeing of food security to hitherto marginalised and isolated sections of our society, mainly the nomad Gujjars. “Gujjars-Bakerwals who constitute 20 per cent of the total population of the state and 42% of them are living below Poverty line – will get benefits of it if the Act is designed keeping in view their lifestyle too.”

“The nomadic groups, mainly Gujjars-Bakerwals in addition to food insecurity facing the lack of basic human needs such as clean and fresh water, nutrition, healthcare, education, clothing and shelter, because of their inability to afford them,” speakers   said.

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