JAMMU, May 3: Noted tribal scholar, Dr Javaid Rahi, represented Gujjar-Bakerwal tribes of Jammu and Kashmir in a National Policy Consultation Programme held on ‘Temperate-Alpine Grasslands of Himalayan’.
Organized by Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bengaluru -a Government body, with the support of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, the event was started on April 29 at Sidkeong Tulku Forest Conference Hall, Forest Secretariat, Deorali, Gangtok (Sikkim) for two days.
The main objective of the programme was to prepare a draft of national policy to regulate temperate-alpine grasslands which constitute a major geographical area of the Indian Himalayas.
Dr Javaid Rahi, while speaking about the issues being fronted by the Gujjars-Bakerwals of J&K, Himachal Paresh and Uttarakhand, stated that grazing lands must not be converted for any purpose. He said that grazing has been, and continues to be, a controversial issue in the regions due to lack of laws.
He said tribal of J&K deserves extension of similar rights as enjoyed by the tribal communities of other states of India. He added that like Indian Tribes they must be given rights on water, forests and land as committed.