TAD initiates first survey of nomadic tribal population


Move aimed at special planning for Socio-economic and developmental benefits: Shahid Choudhary

Jammu: Tribal Affairs Department in collaboration with District Administration and Department of Census has initiated the process of survey and enumeration of migratory tribal population for extending benefits of various schemes and targeted development of community.

The department has approached Principal District Census Officers (Deputy Commissioners) for appointing of Nodal Officers. Many districts have appointed nodal officers and constituted survey teams. A budget of Rs 3 Cr has been earmarked for comprehensive survey of both nomadic populations and various under-developed tribal pockets in Jammu and Kashmir.

Secretary to Government, Tribal Affairs Department Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary informed that J&K Government is initiating a series of welfare measures for migratory population with focus on education, health, Livlihood, convenience of migration, improvement in livestock farming practices and their capacity building for implementation of The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights Act) among many other initiatives. The first survey to be conducted through next three  months will be followed by complete documentation and issuance of smart cards containing all details. 

Tribal Affairs Department has envisaged a series of measures for welfare of migratory tribal population beginning this year. In this regard, a survey of migratory population at the arrival end i.e Highland Pastures is being conducted to ascertain the complete details of families enabling the department to extend required developmental , Livlihood and welfare support starting current financial year. Separately, details of village wise tribal population along with their socio-economic and educational status have also been sought by the department from Deputy Commissioners for better planning of schemes aimed at their targeted development. 

The survey will cover intra-district, inter-district, inter-province and inter-state migration of nomadic population which largely includes Gujjars and Bakkerwals while in some districts Gaddis, Sippis and other tribes also migrate. The first step after the completion of survey is aimed to be initiating measures for strengthening migratory schools, establishment of hostels, new residential schools apart from other interventions proposed in health , Livlihood and livestock husbandry sector. 

Tribal Affairs Department is coordinating with Department of Census for technical support meanwhile district planning offices have also been approached for mentoring and supervision of field exercise. Pursuant to completion of survey smart cards will be provided to families on pilot basis which apart from serving as eligibility for various designed schemes will also contain details related to annual migration enabling hassle free movement.

Director Tribal Affairs Mushir Ahmed Mirza is coordinating with districts and various departments for this comprehensive exercise which is a first initiative to identify the nomadic families and provide them targeted assistance for socio-economic welfare apart from developmental initiatives.

The department will also involve dedicated volunteers and NGOs for field exercise to be conducted at the designated places of migration at higher reaches.  The plan also includes creation of facilities of migration routes for which five major routes have been identified.