JAMMU, Mar 1 (Agencies): Only education can change the fate and future of Gujjars -the main Scheduled Tribe group of Jammu and Kashmir- said noted tribal scholar Dr Javaid Rahi while inaugurating a 3-day Arts Festival organised by Yes India Foundation at Yaseen English School Bathindi , here this afternoon.
He , in his presidential address stated that the Gujjars and Bakerwals are facing tremendous challenges in competitions due to low literacy rate in comparison with other tribes of Jammu and Kashmir.
He said sustainable , voluntary, affordable and inclusive education programme are required for tribal groups keeping in view the migratory way of life , that will help weaker sections to get benefits of reservation under ST .
He said that this is a matter of grave concern that every 7 out of 10 Gujjars /and Bakerwals of Jammu and Kashmir are illiterate as per census data 2011 added that condition of women of these tribal groups are worst with 82.2% illiteracy as revealed in data released by Registrar General of India in census report.
He said that extreme poverty, rough and tough life , early marriage system and nomadic traditions are also causing a dark shadows over the future of lakhs of nomadic Gujjar and Bakerwal children residing in the most backward, hilly and border areas of Jammu & Kashmir .
He appreciated the efforts of Yes India Foundation at Yaseen English High School for providing quality education to tribal and weaker section children in different areas of Jammu and Kashmir with 36 chain of schools.
He impressed upon the school management to arrange special classes on environmental issues besides national integration, inter-faith understanding , tolerance and brotherhood.
Dr Arif Sajad , Associate Prof. of Law , University of Jammu also spoke on the occasion and asserted that good teachers can change fate of students.
Others who spoke on the occasion includes , Dr Shokat Bukhari Chairman Yes India Foundation from Kerla, Dr Amjad Bhat , Ramshad Prammal Principal of the School Mohammad Kafail Chouhan staff Secretary and Ch Yasir Bashir.
Later awards were distributed among teachers and meritorious students , scholars.