The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday asked Gujjar and Bakerwal communities to come forward in a "big way" to avail the benefits of Scheduled Tribe status.
"Gujjar and Bakerwal communities, which have been brought under the ambit of Scheduled Tribe status, still remain deprived of privileges and benefits envisaged under this Act. They need to come forward in a big way to avail the benefits," Forest minister Mian Altaf Ahmad said while addressing a series of public meeting in Gujjar- and Bakerwal-dominated areas of South Kashmir.
Ahmad, who visited Wale Nagabal, Yash Nard, Jahar Pati, Veerseran and Dehwatto areas, said, "this is the main reason which has resulted in lack of basic amenities including road connectivity, drinking water and power supply to the community".
The Minister, who was accompanied by senior officers of various departments, directed them to take steps to mitigate the day-to-day sufferings being faced by these backward communities.