Food, Fodder Dropped For Kashmir's Snow-trapped Nomads1 June 2010
Jammu: Indian Air Force helicopters Tuesday air-dropped several quintals of rations and fodder for the Gujjar and Bakerwal nomads trapped in high altitudes in Jammu and Kashmir after heavy snowfall last week, officials said. Three helicopters dropped the supplies to the nomads trapped in the Jabbal area of Warwan in Kishtwar district, Jammu Divisional Commissioner Pawan Kotwal said, according to an official release. The food packages, woollens and other essentials were provided by divisional and district Red Cross Societies. 'This is a joint operation by the civil administration, and the air force,' Kotwal said, adding troops and civil administration officials, carrying tents, blankets and other relief materials, would continue efforts to reach the trapped nomads. Heavy and unseasonal snowfall and rains caught the Gujjars and Bakerwals in upper reaches off guard. Some of their summer huts have collapsed, and many of them have fallen ill. Kotwal said the Gujjars' and Bakerwals' relatives based in Jammu were also taken along in the helicopters to exact locations of the trapped nomads. The nomads, who travel to highland pastures during summers with their cattle, often intimate the location of their 'deras' (campsites) to their relatives and friends who do not join them up in the mountains.