SRINAGAR (J&K): The lockdown across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, to prevent spread of Coronavirus, has had a little impact as far as the daily life of nomad people is concerned.

Although the movement of nomads, who migrate to pastures located in the upper reaches during Summers with their livestock, has been hit to some extent but after managing to migrate, they continue with their normal routine, untouched by the Coronavirus-induced lockdown.

A nomad family taking a break while a woman prepares food in Yousmarg.

Qasim Ahmed (53), a nomad, who had been living in the tourist destination Yousmarg for 20 years now, said that they don’t bother about COVID-19. “We are living the way we used to. Our life has not changed much after the thing (coronavirus) emerged in the Valley,” he said.

However, His brother, Usman, said that that many of the nomad people who used to earn by way of renting their horses did face difficulties but ultimately, they also reverted to the traditional business of Sheep rearing.

A nomad woman preparing food for her family amid the green surroundings in Yousmarg.

“We have a good amount of food stock available with us all times. That helped us a lot in surviving this season of tourist-drought,” Sulaiman, a nomad who used to provide his horses on rent.

He rued the fact that no NGO or government organization came for their help. “They (officials) only give lip service but nothing is done on ground. We are thankful to Allah for not having any hopes from them either,” he said.

A young boy herding goat in his bid to help his family (not in picture) to move into upper reaches of Yousmarg.

The nomads said that a strange world has been created after the outbreak of the virus. “We heard in Srinagar that people don’t even have to shake hands with another because of some disease. We were shocked to hear this,” they said.

Amid the Coronavirus-induced lockdown, sheep rearing, the raising and breeding of domestic sheep, is believed to be the most secure means of earning a livelihood in places like Yousmarg.

The nomads are thankful for their stay among green meadows and mountains, away from the panic and terrible news stories about COVID-19.

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