Drought hit Gujjars start shifting animals to down areas  

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Newspoint Bureau

Jammu Tawi, December 25

Facing extreme deficit of fodder for their animal,   due to  insufficiency of  rainfall , the drought hit families of Gujjars  living in hills of Jammu and Kashmir started shifting along with their cattle towards down areas  nearer to  cities and towns,   in search of cattle feed and water, said  a handout  of Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation- a main organisation  representing nomadic tribes. The Foundation organised a programme in this connection aimed to discuss the consciences of the issue,  which was presided over by noted tribal researcher Dr. Javaid Rahi and attended by nomadic communities representatives. Dr. Javaid Rahi,  in his presidential  address stated that Gujjars  -the  main animal raring  community  of the state facing acute shortage fodders and water in many areas , due to deficiency of rain,  during  last few months. The water resources in hilly areas are drying down rapidly, he said and added  in result the nomads along with their animals  are shifting to other areas .He further said that some other states of India which are facing similar situations have supplied cattle feed and fodder at nominal cost extending them 90 per cent subsidy to nomads and tribal .He  urged for  akin  steps from state for J&K tribes.  He said , as per 18th livestock census 2007 conducted in the country, the J&K State has 34.43 lakh cattle , mainly were being looked after by Gujjars and Bakerwals – which  includes 10.5 lakh buffaloes, 20.63 lakh goats, 36.85 lakh sheep,  1.05 lakh horses, others   and added  that these  numbers have  significantly increased .

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