How the Gujjars of Chamba moved into the district market

Published on: Thursday 12th Jul 2018
How the Gujjars of Chamba moved into the district market

Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh is home to nearly 40,000 Gujjars, a pastoral community rearing buffaloes, that moves between mountains and plains according to the seasons. Given their nomadic life, the Gujjar community in Himachal Pradesh remains mostly uncovered by Government’s development schemes. Gujjars hugely depend on the sale of milk and other dairy products for their livelihood. From the farthest reaches of Chamba, they would move to the district town every morning, going door-to-door to sell their products. However, since prices were not fixed, they would usually end up in making loss.

With support from our North Regional Office, community-based organisations were created to assert the rights of the Gujjar community. The Gujjar Welfare Board emerged to take up community issues and the Pragati Swayam Sahayata Samuh was set up as a collective of milk-producers in the district. The Pragati Swayam Sahayata Samuh, with support from the Gujjar Welfare Board, wrote to the District Collector of Chamba, requesting for allocation of space for a shop for the Pragati Samuh in the district market at Chamba. And their advocacy efforts did pay off; they finally managed to create a space in the market to sell milk and other dairy products. Read more here.
ActionAid India acknowledges European Commission for the support extended in its initiative to enable access to government schemes and entitlements for the poor across 6 districts in 5 states of India.

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