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89 per cent Gujjar women illiterate in J and K
Srinagar | Sunday, Mar 9 2008 IST
 
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About 89 per cent Gujjar women are illiterate in Jammu and Kashmir, a study conducted by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation (TRCF) said.

National Secretary of the TRCF Dr Javid Rahi said early marriage, illiteracy, extreme poverty and nomadic way of life was casting dark shadows over the future of lakhs of nomadic Gujjar women residing in the most backward, hilly and border areas of Jammu and Kashmir. Dr Rahi said the study was conducted in 1000 nomad houses of nomadic Gujjar and Bakerwal tribes in Poonch, Rajouri, Baramulla and Kupwara districts.

It revealed that a total of 89 per cent Gujjar women between the age of 10 to 65 were illiterate. They were being exploited and became the victim of superstitions.

He said that on the other hand, despite her excessive hard work, they were getting due respect and position in the Tribal society, the study said.

Because of early marriage and social bindings, only 12 per cent of the nomad Gujjar girls were in a position to get admission in primary school, and the circumstances compelled them to leave their studies even at the different levels because of limited sources of family income and lack of human resources.

According to the study, the worst condition was of the nomad girl children belonging to Ajjhari Gujjar (Shepherd) and Manjhii Gujjar (Buffalo keeper), 88 per cent of whom had not seen the doors of a school and only a few were getting education in religious institutes. According to the study, the Centre's Balika Simridhi Yojna, Sawastiki and Indira Mahila Yojna had not applied over Gujjar women.

Dr Rahi said ten lakhs Gujjar Women, which constitute 10 per cent of the total population of the state, were unaware of their rights. He said there was not a single Gujjar woman officer in IAS and allied services, MLA or MLC, Banks, Kashmir and Jammu universities and journalism.

However, there were three officers in KAS and allied services, three gujjar women were lawyers, three Ph.D and one in judicial service.

-- (UNI) -- 09DR24.xml

 

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