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Three-Day Focus Group Discussion on “Sustainable Livelihood in Ladakh: Prospects and Challenges” organised by GDC Drass


Three-Day Focus Group Discussion on “Sustainable Livelihood in Ladakh: Prospects and Challenges” organised by GDC Drass


A three-day Focus Group discussion on “Sustainable Livelihood in Ladakh: Prospects and Challenges”, organised by the National Academy of Sciences India (NASI Local Chapter Jammu) in collaboration with Govt. Degree College Drass commenced at Panchayat Ghar Mushkoo valley in Drass. The FGD aimed at  promoting responsible use of natural resources, renewable energy, and sustainable livelihood initiatives from grass root level to policy makers.  The three-day capacity building programme kick started with its first brainstorming session at Mushkoo Valley Drass wherein different stakeholders at village level participated in the FGD along with members of NASI, and faculty and students from GDC Drass. The programme commenced with a warm welcome of guests from NASI and local villagers by presenting traditional khataqs by Dr Amjad Ali Abassi, Principal GDC Drass.

At the outset of the event, Dr Amjad welcomed the guests, including Dr Ravinder Nath Gohil, Secretary NASI, its members, Siraj Ud Din (Ex- Sarpanch Mushkoo) and Ex- BDC Mushkoo Noor Mohd and the audience. He briefed about the programme and  enlightened the audience about the motifs and expected outcomes of the the event and encouraged the villagers to participate and interact actively.

Mr. Noor Mohd addressing the event thanked Principal GDC Drass and members NASI for their efforts to organize an awareness programme for local people regarding sustainability and sustainable livelihood. While interacting with the audience, he reminisced how villagers relied on organic life before, but with the influence of urbanization, the new generation tend to refuse organic lifestyle. He also asserted that Mushkoo valley has the potential to cater for Eco-tourism where tourists can explore its stunning flora and fauna.

During the discussion, the older participants lamented the happiness that has been lost in the shadows of urbanization and modernization. They raised the issues of human-wildlife conflict due to inevitable changes in the ecosystem


Fatima Banoo, a local farmer, shared her experience with organic produce of vegetables and how it impacts the health of her family. Shagufta Parveen, a local from Mushkoo valley and a student of GDC Drass shared her views on learning and collection of medicinal plants for her college project. She expressed that traditional knowledge from the elders of the village helped her to know more about the endemic species found in her village. The locals also raised the concerns of declining agricultural products and the consumption of processed food  by children, which has a major impact upon their overall growth in society.

Dr. Gohil insisted the audience to gain knowledge about using resources in their natural form rather than using products sourced from chemical ingredients. He emphasized the fact that bio resources or any natural resource  can be used for sustainable livelihood and also to generate income.

Young locals shared their concerns regarding booming technology, rapid changing lifestyles and modern challenges which directly affect the youth in terms of migrating to cities to earn income and leaving behind traditional agricultural systems.

The programme witnessed an enthusiastic participation of local villagers including women and students from GDC Drass. Dr Amjad gracefully moderated the programme. Dr Gohil shared his insights and attended to doubts and questions of the locals. The discussion concluded with various outcomes such as the consumption of  local produce, traditional food and safeguard of the environment. He encouraged local entrepreneurs to explore and provide food-related solutions for their economic development.Faculty of GDC Drass also participated in the FGD with great fervor.

The programme ended with concluding remarks by Dr. Ravinder Nath Gohil. Assistant Professor Ms. Archo Fatima Nissa formally presented the vote of thank to the participants from various backgrounds  who shared their valuable knowledge and  ideas on the said topic. The FGD will be followed for two more days at Dak Banglow Drass and will conclude at Conference Hall Baroo on the third day where local stakeholders along with policy makers will participate in the FGD.

Ladakh Times is a participatory media house based in Ladakh, tells untold stories, playing an active role of collecting news and information.

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