The Center for People’s Collective (CPC)

Impact of the lockdown on
pastoralists of Maharashtra

Impact of the lockdown on Pastoralist of Maharashtra

The dry land regions of Maharashtra provide natural topographies
that are suitable for livestock rearing. They are crucial resources for
sustaining pastoral lifestyles in the state. The pastoral communities of
Maharashtra consist of the Dhangars, Nanda Gawalis, Melghat Gawalis,
Mathura Lambada, Rabari, Kurumars, Kanadi Hindu Talwar, Bharwads,
Golkars, and Gowaris. In 2000, there were 313 nomadic tribes and 198
denotified tribes in Maharashtra (Rathod 2000). Together the nomadic
and denotified tribes constitute about five million of Maharashtra’s
population and about 60 million of India’s population (ibid.). Pastoral
communities in Maharashtra are transhumant with movement being
guided by the search for pastures for their animals. Pastoralists are
typically on the move after the monsoon, which happens to be the kharif
season. On the way, they stay on farmlands in exchange for their animals’
manure. The droppings of these animals are a rich source of natural
manure for the farmlands. If not in farmlands, the herders camp near or
on the common lands of villages and in forests. Their migration lasts till
almost the next monsoon.

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