National Conference on Friday said while the government has allowed pastoral nomads to embark on their annual migration, nothing substantial has been done to ensure their safety, amid the COVID19 pandemic.
In an uncanny manner, the authorities tried to evade their responsibility by allowing the nomads to move Kashmir without giving a thought to the challenges that the global pandemic has thrown across the world, said the party functionaries, Ghulam Ahmad Shah, Kafeel Ur Rahman, Showkat Ahmad Mir, Syed Tauqeer Ahmad and Salam Ud Din Bajad, in a joint statement.
They expressed concern over the plethora of problems the tribal people were facing in the wake of lockdown and COVID19 crises.
“The tribals have been left to their own fate. No substantial medical facility and other supplementary arrangements have been put in place to assuage the miseries of the nomads and their livestock is going through during these trying times. These people embarked on a journey covering hundreds of kilometers to preserve their cattle, which is their source of livelihood. Of the lakhs of Gujjar and Bakarwals in J&K, at least 15 lakh begin to migrate by the end of April. Unconcerned about the hardships, authorities have failed to provide required medical facilities, and other sanitary kits to the migratory tribes,” they said.
They said no efforts were taken by the authorities of the divisional administration of Jammu and Kashmir on the smooth supply of ration and other edibles to these people.
“We have been told that the tribes were not allowed to bring their milch animals with them. The age old procedures of seeking permission have changed; they’re not being allowed to take milch animals, cows and buffaloes, with them, thus adding to their worries,” the functionaries said.
They urged the administration to provide all necessary facilities to the tribes along migratory track and meadows. “Medics should immediately be rushed to the spots where these people are putting up. Besides that proper testing facility and sanitary kits should also be provided to them to help them ward off the COVID19 threat,” they said.