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Severe heat forces Himachal's tribal shepherds to migrate


May 6, 2011 - Shimla

With the continuous rise in mercury, the shepherds of Gaddi community of Himachal Pradesh have started migrating from plain areas of Shimla town to the hills.

Due to rising mercury, sheep and goats hardly get grazing area as the grass and leaves dry up.

"When temperature starts rising in the summers, then we move to colder areas (higher regions in mountains) as it becomes too hot for sheep and we even get greener area there with good amount of grass and leaves for grazing. When it becomes too cold in the colder regions then we come back to hotter regions and till that time here also we get good grass and leaves," said Amar Dev, a shepherd.

Beli Ram, another shepherd said the profession has been continuing since ages but the youngsters make long face to keep the line of work intact.

"Youngsters do not want to take up this profession. We have been doing this work since very long and still doing it but these youngsters say that either sell them or get rid of them by any way but they do not want to take up this profession," he said.

Tribal shepherds spend six months in plain during winters and the rest in the hills during summers.

ANI

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