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Gujjar leader demands policy for proper functioning of mobile schools

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Jammu, Feb 09: A Gujjar leader on Sunday demanded a policy to ensure proper functioning of mobile schools meant to benefit half-settled and unsettled nomadic Gujjar and Bakerwal tribes in Jammu and Kashmir.

Shamsher Hakla Poonchi also demanded a tribal university and opening of boarding schools on the pattern of Navodaya Vidyalaya in all districts of the Union Territory.

“The previous government in the erstwhile state had opened mobile schools for the children of Gujjar and Bakarwal tribes and that had to move with the nomadic communities during the six months of summer season,” Poonchi said in a statement here.

He claimed that many mobile schools do not move with these tribes during summer season, as a result of which the children are losing out on studies.

“Many mobile schools have been converted to stationary schools. The people of half-settled and unsettled tribes of Gujjar and Bakarwal are living a difficult life and their children are lagging in education,” Poonchi said.

Alleging that the benefits of government schemes have not reached them, he urged Lt Governor G C Murmu to look into the issue and frame a policy to ensure proper functioning of the mobile schools for the educationally, economically, socially and politically backward Gujjar and Bakarwal tribes.

There is also a need for setting up a tribal university for Gujjar and Bakerwal students and opening of boarding schools on the pattern of Navodaya Vidyalaya for the girls and boys of the tribes in all 20 districts of the Union Territory, Poonchi said.

Meanwhile, Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation (TRCF), an organisation working to uplift Gujjars and Bakerwals, demanded the establishment of a full-fledged department of Gojri in Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University in Rajouri district.

“A good number of students are interested to opt for Gojri as one of the subjects at postgraduate level but that course is not available for them,” the TRCF said and urged the university Vice Chancellor Prof Javed Masarat to intervene in the matter and issue necessary directions.

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