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Rs 200-crore scheme for nomads' welfare

Plan covers semi-notified, notified and denotified sections of nomadic tribes

Rs 200-crore scheme for nomads' welfare

Union Social Justice Minister Virendra Singh

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 16

The Centre on Wednesday launched a scheme for economic empowerment of nomadic tribes that would affect a good chunk of tribal population in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh.

The scheme, launched by Union Social Justice Minister Virendra Singh, covers denotified (DN), semi-notified (SNT) and notified (NT) sections of the nomadic tribes. It will have four components with an approximate cost of Rs 200 crore to be spent over a period of five years.

“Under the scheme, coaching, health insurance, livelihood initiatives at community level and financial assistance for construction of houses will be provided to such communities,” Kumar said. The nomadic tribes constitute a good chunk of population in the Himalayan regions, including the Baddis and Ban Gujjars in HP and the Gujjar-Bakerwals in J&K and Ladakh. According to an estimate, they constitute about 10% of the population of J&K and Ladakh.

The nomadic tribes have been reportedly the most neglected, marginalised and economically and socially deprived communities in the country.

Historically, these communities had hardly any access to land or home of their own. These tribes generally use forest and grazing lands for their livelihood and residential use and have strong ecological connections. Many of them are dependent upon various types of natural resources and carve out intricate ecological niches for their survival.

The changes in ecology and environment seriously affect their livelihood options.

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