The Gujjars of Savai Madhapar were resettled outside their traditional home, the Ranthambore National Park, in Rajasthan around the same time. Their Buffalos milk yields reduced to less than half, in the sedentary farms they had to settle into. Most of the Gujjars have had to give up animal keeping altogether, bringing their breed close to extinction, explains Ambalal.
Almost all the pastoralists present in the meeting organised by MOTA FRA cell, Vasundhara and Sahjeevan had similar stories of discrimination and harassment. They were surprised that the Forest Department could not see the benefits their animals brought to the ecologies of the National Parks and the very wild species they hoped to protect. As Magan Raika from Rajasthan explains, “if our lifestyles are dangerous for the forests, how is it that the only forests left in the country are where there are pastoralists?! We protected the forest’s FRA Workshops even before the Forest department came to manage them!”