Snowfall hit Gujjar-Bakerwals facing fodder deficit: TRCF

Gujjar women under migration to plains as higher reaches experiencing snowfall.
Gujjar women under migration to plains as higher reaches experiencing snowfall.

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 16: Hit by unprecedented snowfall in the higher reaches during last few days -the nomad Gujjars and Bakerwals in Jammu and Kashmir have started shifting to plain areas close to habituated villages in all the three region of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
This was stated in a programme by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation- organized here today to look into the current issues of tribes of the State.
Tribal researcher Dr Javed Rahi, who presided over the programme, said that at present a big chunk of Gujjars and Bakerwals – the main tribal communities, are in upper reaches in connection with annual tribal migration where they have faced unprecedented dip in temperature due to sudden snowfall and rain. He said, in result they have lost a number of animals and now they have no option but move towards warmer areas , as the grass and other fodder came under snow.
He appealed local administration to help the tribal in this extraordinary situation which arises due to unusual climate change.
The other speakers said due to snowfall and heavy rains in upper reaches of North -western Himalaya including Pirpacanchal, Zojila, Trikuta hills-the Gujjars – Bakerwals are facing extreme deficit of fodder for their animals .
They said, reportedly around 100 livestock found dead only in Baramulla district due to unusual weather. As per reports lightning struck a shed in Uri in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir killing at least 100 livestock, including sheep, goats, horses and dogs. The speakers demanded compensation for all the affected families.
The speakers said not only this year but every year the nomads face natural calamity and they demanded that State Government should start an insurance scheme for animals enabling the tribes to tackle such drastic weather issue and push ahead their life and run their livelihood.