Jammu: Tribal Gujjars and Bakerwals -the main animal rearing communities of state today issued an extensive appeal to government of Jammu and Kashmir to postpone enumeration process of ‘Livestock Census’ in the State as their tribes are under bi-annual migration to plan areas along with livestock, a statement issued here said.
They asked government to wait till November 15th enabling tribes to complete the back circle of their tribal journey and then start the enumeration process.
On October 1st, the Centre and state started 20th livestock census across the country to collect breed-wise details that will help in framing policies for breed improvement.
In Jammu and Kashmir the Gujjars and Bakerwals – who are mainly attached with livestock such as Sheep, Goats , Buffalos, Cows, horses, Camels, Dogs, etc sharply reacted on enumeration and pleaded for postponement of the process as they are presently under migration from mountains of north-western Himalaya to plan areas of the state, the statement said.
“They (Gujjars and Bakerwals ) will be back to plan areas from 15th of November onwards after completing their downward journey which starts in the first week of October every year said noted Gujjar scholar Dr. Javaid Rahi while presiding over a programme organised by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation to discuss Tribal issues.
Dr. Javaid Rahi said the sessional bi annual migrations along-with livestock is an essential part of nomadic lifestyle of Gujjars and Bakerwals which they are practising since centuries together.
He made an appeal to census conductors to add a category of ‘nomads’ in their Performa of census against household category as lakhs of Gujjars and Bakerwals are landless in the state.
He also made an appeal to Gujjar Bakerwal tribes to help the government agencies in conducting census of livestock as collection of breed-wise information of various species will give vital information for determination of threatened indigenous breeds and to take initiatives for their conservation.
The speakers stressed upon the teams to be cordial with the tribes .
The speakers also appealed tribe to provide accurate data to teams who will visit your house/ enterprise and record all the information about their animals according to their breeds and other characteristics.
The speakers asked their tribe to provide all small details to enumerator including details about dogs, poultry, small animals and agriculture equipment along with Socio-economic characteristics of the household