Jammu: CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Wednesday advocated for granting tribal status to Chopan (Shepherd) community.
A deputation of J&K Chopan Welfare Association led by Haji Abdul Aziz Chopan met Tarigami at his residence in Jammu and apprised him about the hard ships being faced by the community. Tarigami said that a resolution to grant Tribal Status to Chopan community was passed in the state Legislative Assembly in 2010 but the Government of India has not taken any cognizance of that resolution so far.
“Granting Tribal Status to Chopan Community is a long pending genuine demand which needs a sympathetic consideration. The same community in Jammu and Ladakh divisions has already been granted this status and there should be no discrimination as far as the status community living in Kashmir is taken into consideration,” he said.
The CPI (M) leader suggested that state government should pursue the case vigorously and persuade the Union Government to grant tribal status to Chopan Community. While the Pahari speaking people have been given three percent reservation recently but this under privileged community has been ignored.
The Chopans are the landless community in villages and they along with their families and livestock migrate to highland pastures during summer months. The community contribute significantly to the economy of the state through sheep and animal rearing. Both these sectors have a vast potential to grow in view of the most favourable geo-topographical conditions of the state. The demand for mutton and milk in the state is huge with large portion of this being imported from outside the state. This has put a question mark on the policy planners and the concerned scientists.
“Government must also provide compensation to the community for losses to its livestock, employment avenues (like posts of shepherds, attendants) and quality education to their children through mobile schools,” Tarigami concluded.