Nomad tribals in Uttrakhand lament politicians' apathy

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Timli (Uttrakhand), Apr 30 (ANI): Gujjar-Bakarwals, cattle rearing tribe in Uttarakhand, lamented that they have for years lived on empty promises of the politicians before every elections.

The tribals said they have for long-lived in jungles without any social security for their children and the politicians only remember them before polls to give them empty promises.

"We face a lot of problem here. We stay in jungles. We have no houses, no land of our own. We have to travel with our buffaloes. There is no security for our children and no arrangement for their education.

We do not have facilities of electricity and water. At the time of elections, politicians walk to us and say they will ensure them their rights," said Zamila, a tribal woman.

The experts aggress that the tribals are neglected.

"They write in their manifesto that they will ensure them their rights. They only remember them during elections and forget them after that," said Avdesh Kaushal, an expert on tribal affairs.

The Central Government granted the community Scheduled Tribe status in 1991.The move aimed at prioritizing their socio economic upliftment.

But Bakarwals complain that their living conditions continue to be pitiable. The community's literacy rate continues to be quite low while mortality rates are high due to disease and poverty. They blame government apathy for their condition.

Still living in centuries old traditions of nomadic life, many of them want to come to terms with modernization. They want to shift to a settled life and want the government to help them in this regard.

The nomads have also been easy prey for militants who demand milk, butter and meat from them. On occasions, they are caught in the crossfire between the security forces and the terrorists.

The community leaders have, therefore, demanded proper security along the seven routes to the pastures. By Ashish Goel (ANI)

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