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Citizens for Justice and Peace

meer-hamza

CJP impact: A fellowship, that encouraged communities to cross communication barriers It has helped open up a window for Van Gujjars, whose stories are now being shared widely

It has been an interesting year to say the least for me, as an activist who works closely on the rights of the Van Gujjar community to which I belong, and on environmental issues. After I was awarded the CJP Grassroots Fellowship and began chronicling the Van Gujjar community’s lifestyle, tradition, migration patterns, and their…

CJP Grassroots Fellows

Support a CJP fellow today CJP grassroots fellows are making a difference on the ground

Ripon sheikh, Mamta Pared, Meer Hamza and Tinku Sheikh. CJP’s grassroots fellows belong to different marginalized communities that we have been working with. Through our grassroots fellows, CJP aims to build a community of on ground researchers and community leaders who are passionate about exploring issues that impact them. Support our Fellowship Program. Visit here.…

“CJP’s Grassroots Fellowship gave me a leadership identity” CJP’s Grassroots Fellowship goes beyond individual recognition, empowers Van Gujjar community

The Van Gujjar community’s traditional festival ‘Sela Parv’ had fascinated me since I was a young boy. However, I had not really seen it being celebrated, only heard stories about it from my elders. They in turn heard tales from their elders, how in the bygone era the Van Gujjar would migrate between kingdoms and…

A ray of hope is all we need How Uttarakhand’s Van Gujjars are rebuilding relationships with villagers

Uttarakhand is home to the Van Gujjars, the nomadic community to which I belong. We traditionally breed cows, buffalos of a special breed called Gojri, and even horses, and earn a livelihood by selling milk and milk products. A defining factor of this community is that we migrate according to the season. In the summer…

How can you ever ‘resettle’ an ancient way of life? Resettlement not always constructive rehabilitation, forest dwellers face the loss of identity

CJP Fellow Mohammed Meer Hamza travels to the resettlement area of Gendikhata, in Uttarakhand, and meets a rehabilitated Van Gujjar, and learns that resettlement does not always mean constructive rehabilitation for forest dwellers, who now face the loss of identity. The rehabilitation of Uttarakhand’s Van Gujjar families from Rajaji National Park to Gendikhata, is not…

Our life is linked to the forests we call home: Van Gujjars Receding forest cover and forced 'rehabilitation' is imperiling their existence

They are often hailed as eco warriors, as they take care of the forests, they live next to. For the Van Gujjar community taking the health of the forest is a top priority. But now, their very existence, as a community is in peril, as the forest cover is shrinking across the land, and the…

Who sprayed chemicals in an eco-sensitive forest area in Haldwani? Brave Van Gujjar woman’s video recording reveals atrocities by Forest Department officials

“Hit me, I dare you… Do what you want, don’t you have stomachs,” a woman belonging to the forest dwelling Van Gujjar community is heard confronting a man, reportedly a Forest Department guard who can be heard threatening her. She was recording a video of the guards attacking a group of her fellow Van Gujjar community members who were resisting the department’s plan to…

CJP Wednesdays CJP Fellowship

Don’t miss out on CJP Grassroots Fellows’ stories This #CJPWednesdays let's take a look at stories documented by our Grassroots fellows

CJP grassroots fellows are bringing out stories of communities that are often ignored by the mainstream media. From protests in solidarity with farmers in Bengal to daily wage workers’ concerns, from lives of the indigenous tribes to sharing traditional music of the communities that we work with, they have been busy documenting the world around…

They call us Jamatis, no longer buy milk from us: Van Gujjars Nomadic community faces discrimination and economic boycott

Here Mohammed Meer Hamza interviews Baniyabeen, a Van Gujjar who hails from Gauhri Range Kunou, Chaurd Pauri, Garhwal, and is currently camping at Gari Shyampur, near Rishikesh, Dehradun. They discuss the long-lasting impact that the Covid-19 pandemic on the community, and how despite facing discrimination, Van Gujjar’s hold no resentment. All they want is the safety of their…

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