Tribals in Jammu and Kashmir, who are famous in the name 'Kashmir nomads', have started shifting to plain areas hit by severe dry spell in the higher reaches, studies say.
A statement issued by a tribal rights body on Sunday said that families of Gujjars living in hills of Jammu and Kashmir started shifting to cities and towns since the life in hills became unprecedentedly difficult.
Facing extreme deficit of fodder for their animals due to insufficient rainfall, the drought-hit families of Gujjars living in hills of Jammu and Kashmir have started shifting along with their cattle towards the plain areas, nearer to cities and towns, in search of cattle feed and waterThe Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation
The foundation said 15,000 cattle had perished in the last few months as the crippling drought persisted and most of the tribals were struggling to stay alive.
Tribal researcher Javed Rahi presiding over a programme attended by nomadic communities representatives said that tribal Gujjar and Bakarwal (goat-herds) raise cattle, goats, sheep and horses are the main animal rearing communities of the state.
“These communities are facing acute shortage of fodder and water in many areas due to deficiency of rain during the last few months,” he said.
He also said that the water resources in hilly areas are drying down rapidly as a result of which the nomads along with their animals are shifting to other areas.
Citing the examples of some other states of India which are facing similar situations, he urged the Jammu and Kashmir government to take steps needed to tackle the issue.