Patalkot Issues

There are certain burning issues about Patalkot and its people which need to be addressed here. Everyone who has seen Patalkot in late 80s or early 90s can easily find out the drastic changes in the valley now. Deforestation is on its high. The situation is really very sickening now. Biotic pressure from the outer world has made Patalkot life like hell. Although, the Government bodies sanction different kinds of funds from time to time for the upliftment of these tribals but the funds are never made available to the tribes. The timely sanction of funds to the tribal development agencies is being read by every citizen through print and various other media. The where about of these sanctioned funds is a matter of worry, as the life of tribals is still in a pathetic condition. When the tribals are questioned about these funds, they get frustrated. The economical growth of the area and developments claimed so far is literally zero.

Tribals have been cheated by science workers too. These so called researchers come and uproot the important medicinal plants, gather information and publish research papers. In this way, many important and rare herbal plants have been disappearing in the valley. There are certain NGOs working for development of Patalkot and its people, but seems like they are more interested in their self-development. Over-exploitation of plants like Safed musli, Chironji, Sarpagandha, Kalihari, Anantmool, Antmool and Bach has made them endangered species in this area.

The tribes mainly depend upon the yields that they grow in their fields or at the hill slopes. The yeilds chiefly comprises; Maize (Zea mays), Jowar (Sorgham vulgare), Urad (Phaseolus mungo), Millets (Picorrhiza kurrova), Beans, Wheat etc. Tribal life is fully dependent up on plant resource. They collect minor forest produce and sell it to local broker or market. Water scarcity is also a major problem in summer. Families walk out of the valley for earning money; it’s called as “Chaitua Palayan or Migration”.

On the economical point of view, Patalkot is having rich forest wealth but due to the lack of communication with Government and also non-availability of proper platform to sell their minor forest produce, tribals have to move away for earning. This makes valley omitted all customs and diversity.

Presently, it is the need of the hour to provide basic facilities to these tribes but in a properly managed way. Migration should be checked completely so that the culture and rituals of tribes of this region remain alive. The culture of these people should not be killed; the system of curing disorders should not be exploited. Government should take initiatives for employment opportunities for the tribal folks. Funding facilities should be given to them for cultivation in their field and use of wasteland and also for water management. Government should establish an agency for collecting forest produces under active observation.

Government should develop, with the participation of the peoples concerned, coordinated and systematic action to protect the rights of these peoples and to guarantee respect for their integrity. Recognition and, wherever practicable, assistance should be given to these tribals in respect of their cultural identity, religious practices, linguistic abilities, origin, traditional knowledge or other characteristics. The desire for rapid economic development had some harmful consequences on our environment, sustainable technologies can be introduced.

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