Gujjars demand special census of migratory tribes in J&K

Demanding conduct of special  census to enumerate nomadic and house-less Gujjars-Bakerwals and other schedule tribe communities of Jammu and Kashmir, the community members today said that they spend their life in migration and move along-with their livestock to hills and plain as per the weather conditions.
The demand was highlighted in a programme organised by a main organisation of tribes- Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, here. The speakers of the programme expressed resentment over exclusion of around 5 to 6 lakh migratory people mainly Gujjar Bakerwal during census process held in the state with regular intervals.
The speakers stressed vigorously upon centre and state to jointly launch an exclusive programme to conduct a correct and special census of lakhs of tribesmen under nomad -house- less category” as they stand un-enumerated during the process of each census.
Dr Javaid Rahi, noted Gujjar scholar and researcher in his presidential address said that there was an apprehension that around 5 to 6 lakh nomadic and house less Gujjars and Bakerwals were still un-enumerated as they were under migration during the process for listing of houses conducted during census.
He suggested that Registrar General of India (RGI ) must initiate steps to hold exclusive mapping to list the movement of nomads in Himalayan region of J&K and provide a new column in registration forms of census by introducing “Nomadic Category” or “house-less category” which will help the enumerators to accommodate a big chunk of tribal population during the process.
He said it will benefit the state in formulating a development programme for houseless and marginalised schedule tribes.

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