The Gujjar and Bakerwal community of Jammu and Kashmir have demanded setting up of a tribal university in the state with special reservation for marginalized groups and people living in remote and backward areas of the state.
To cater to the specific educational needs of STs, the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation (TRCF), a frontal organisation of the Gujjar and Bakerwal community, has sent two separate memorandums to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar in this regard.
Noted writer, Dr. Javaid Rahi, who presided over the programme held to discuss the demand of tribal university stated, “We are demanding a tribal university in the state since long. Two-years ago, a delegation of tribal dignitaries from the state met the HRD minister and submitted a memorandum but nothing concrete has emerged out of it so far.”
“To remind the Centre, we have sent a fresh communique to the Prime Minister and HRD minister,” he said.
The fresh communique states, “There is an urgent need to promote studies and research in tribal art, culture, tradition, language, customs, medical system, forest-based economic activities, special studies in flora and fauna and advancements in technologies relating to natural resources of the tribal areas of the state. Thus, establishing a tribal university can cater to all these needs.”
In a separate memorandum, the TRCF has also appealed to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is also minister of tribal affairs, to press the Centre over the issue.
The establishment of the university will cater to the specific educational needs of the tribal and marginalized population of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and other north western Himalayan states, the memorandum stated.
Tribals constitute 20 per cent of the population of the state and Gujjar comprises 85 per cent of the Scheduled Tribe communities, Rahi said.
Those who spoke at the programme included Ch. Jamsheed Jazab, Mushtaq Banya, Aziz Hassan, Abdul Rashid Jangal, Arif Dhedadh, Dr. Shabir Kassana and Dilnawaz Hussain Chowdhary.