Develop forest villages for tribal, nomadic groups in J&K: Gujjars

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, July 12: Demanding adaptation of model of other states/UTs to develop ‘Forest Villages for the Tribal and Nomadic groups’ of Jammu and Kashmir- the Scheduled Tribe Gujjar-Bakerwal today called for immediate implementation of National Conservation Act, 1980 and Forest Right Act 2006, extended to Union Territory along with other laws on August 19 .
The issue was discussed in a programme organized by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation. The programme was presided over by noted Gujjar scholar Dr Javaid Rahi while a large number of members of tribal Gujjar and Bakerwal community participated.
In his presidential address, Dr Javaid Rahi stated that with implementation of both the Acts in J&K, the tribal communities will become illegible legally and constitutionally to get rehabilitated in areas belonging to them since centuries.
“Under these Acts, the Forest villages are converted in Revenue villages and developed under centrally sponsored programme,” he said, adding, a big chunk of nomadic population of the community are shelter less and landless since centuries which deserves a fair deal at all levels.
Other speakers also demanded early implementation of both the Acts to J&K. They said there were thousands of tribal forest villages developed with the financial assistance of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India in different states and UTs of India, but the nomads of J&K are waiting for such facilities.
“The Forest Village scheme was aimed at raising the Human Development Index (HDI) of the inhabitants, providing basic facilities and services such as food, safe drinking water, health care, primary education, approach roads, and other infrastructural facilities,” they added.
They pleaded for constitutional safeguards to rehabilitate the lakhs of the nomadic and semi-nomadic Gujjar-Bakerwal in forest villages in J&K.
Others who spoke on the occasion include Shokar Choudhary, Shabir Choudhary, Shahid Choudhary, Ishtiaq Misbah, Sahil Choudhary and Khadam Hussain.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here