Bakarwals return to meadows after two-year break

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SRINAGAR — Hundreds of families from the Bakarwal community along with their livestock returned to the high-altitude meadows of Kashmir after a break of two years due to the Covid pandemic.

The annual migration of the pastoral community was affected because of the pandemic. In April, they travel by foot for weeks together along with their livestock through mountains to reach the upper reaches of the Valley. Similarly, they return from the meadows to the plains in Jammu for winters.

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Qasim Khan, a nomad from Pir Panjal region, says they are happy and excited that they are moving freely after two years. He said while many have already entered the Valley but many are still on the way.

Another nomad Mohammad Hussain Poswal said that locals welcomed them everywhere upon their arrival. “We have a lot of friends here who used to come to us often,” he said.

Another nomadic caravan, while on the way to Gurez valley, said that they migrate to the Valley every year except for the last two years.

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Tasleema, a woman who accompanied the caravan, hopes they will not be harassed by locals here as she lost one of his relatives here last year while fighting with the locals.

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