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 .