Jammu, Jan 19: Muzzafar Choudhary of Tribal Students Association Kashmir has urged the government to focus on addressing pressing issues faced by Gujjar and Bakerwal community.
“This includes providing better educational facilities, healthcare services, livelihood opportunities, and implementing affirmative action measures to bridge the social and economic divide,”he said in a statement.
He said that it is unjust “to grant Scheduled Tribe Status to upper castes in Jammu and Kashmir.” “Tribal communities in Jammu and Kashmir have weathered centuries of marginalisation, deprivation, and exploitation,” Choudhary said.
He added that despite pockets of progress, tribal communities persistently encounter social stigma, derogatory remarks, and discrimination. “Stereotypes of being backward or primitive persist, eroding our dignity and rights. Limited access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities perpetuates a cycle of deprivation,” Choudhary said.