J-K's "Bakkarwals" tribe on You Tube

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Srinagar, May 16 (ANI): A full-length film on cultural heritage of gujjars of Jammu and Kashmir entitled "Bakkarwals" in four parts has been released on You Tube.

Launched by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, a national organization working on gujjars of states, the 40 minutes documentary was directed by famous filmmaker Rajesh Kaul.

"We realised that information about the nomadic gujjar tribe on the internet is almost negligible. So we thought that we should upload a full length documentary to help people understand the gujjar culture, their nomadic way of life and the problems they are facing," said Dr Javaid Rahi, national secretary, Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation.

Believed to have originated from the Turk tribes, the Bakkarwals are an old tribe still living a nomadic life in Jammu and Kashmir.

The documentary now released will give information on their culture, traditions and way of life. Their history, size of their ethnic group and population is all recorded in the documentary.

The documentary is expected to help people, especially researchers and students, and understand the tribe better.

"Only the locals could see them. But mostly people did not know about them. It was not on the internet either so it was impossible for people from other countries to know about these people. But now anyone can get information about them. People can now think about their development and their education," said Parvez Akhtar, a resident.

The main attractions of this documentary are a few folk-songs in Gojri language. It also features the tribe's folk-lore, folk-arts and crafts which face a threat of extinction.

For centuries, "Bakkarwals" have been leading a tough life in the high-altitude meadows of the Himalayas and the Pir-Panjal ranges.

Every year, they along with their families migrate from the lowland plains in the winter to the upper reaches of the Himalayas during the summer taking their sheep high into the mountains. By Parvez Butt (ANI)

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