Jammu, Nov 18: The Gujjar and Bakerwal community of Jammu and Kashmir have demanded setting up of a tribal university in the Pir Panchal belt with special reservation for marginalised groups and people living in remote and backward areas of the state.
To press the demand the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation (TRCF), a frontal organisation of the nomad Gujjar and Bakerwal community, Sunday organised a programme. Presided over by noted Gujjar scholar Dr. Javaid Rahi the programme was attended by youth and elders of society.
Dr. Javaid Rahi in his presidential address said “there is an urgent need to promote studies and research in tribal art, culture, tradition, language, custom, medical systems, forest based economic activities, special studies in the flora and fauna and advancements in technologies relating to natural resources of the tribal areas of the state.”
He said “establishing a tribal university can cater to all these needs adding that since Gujjars and Bakerwals figures at the bottom in the literacy map of state and if such institution established it will help in the overall development of tribes .”
He said Gujjars which includes Bakerwals as well, constitute more than 20% population of the state and they are lagging behind educational, economically and other fields and if the Tribal University will be opened it will change the paradigm of their life.
It was informed by the speakers that two separate memorandums sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Human Resources Development Ministry Prakash Javadekar by the Foundation in this regard.
The speakers stressed that “ Gujjars are demanding a tribal university in the state since long. Three year ago, a delegation of tribal dignitaries from the state met the then Union Human Resource Minister and submitted a memorandum but nothing concrete emerged out of it so far,”. “To remind the Centre, we have sent a fresh communique to PM and HRD Minister, they said.
The speakers also appealed Governor Satya Pal Malik to press the Centre over the issue. The establishment of the university will cater to the specific educational needs of the tribal and marginalised population of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and other north western Himalayan states, the memorandum stated.
The Speaker that 12 tribes of Jammu and Kashmir are demanding establishment of a Tribal University in state on the lines of Indra Gandhi National Tribal University in Madhya Pradesh.
Other who spoke include Ishataq Ahmed, Sadaqat Ali Chowhdhary, Sawat Husssain, Mohd Ismael and others.