Marag started the Maldhari Helpline to provide guidance and solution to the queries related to livelihood of the Maldharis. This Helpline was initiated in three district of Gujarat: Kutch, Patan and Surendranagar where Maldhari population is very high. Currently, Maldharis from all districts of Gujarat make use of this helpline.
One July morning, Mr. Jaga Maldhari called from Vyara village of Nakhatrana( Kutchh) block on Maldhari Helpline. He informed that in their village rich farmers had encroached the grazing land of their livestock. The helpline person helps to connect with resource person with Marag as well Regional pastoral Institution. (Maldharis Vikas Sangathan – M. V. S.) Pastoralist from the particular village had meeting to take legal action.
There are 125 families residing in Vyara village. The total cattle count is 5057 (400 cows, 150 buffaloes, 9000 sheep, 2000 goats and 25 camels). The grassland has been taken away by the dominant communities from the village.
The Pastoralists has decided to complain to the police and the Block Magistrate /revenue officer about the situation. Officials visited the place, the strong headed people did not move away and in turn warned the officials and the Maldhari leaders and shunned them away. The members from Pastoral Institute then talked to the Block Magistrate /revenue officer: “If the control over the land is not released then they would sit outside District Head quarter office on a agitation (DHARANA)”. The finally revenue officer has sent the person from their department who is in charge of village land records (Village Revenue Secretary) and also the Police to released the control/encroachment on 235 acres of grassland.
Nakhtrana Block Level Pastoral committee ( Maldhari Vikas Sangthan) gathered to submit the Memorandum to save the 32 villages Grazing Land
This news spread across the whole Nakhatrana Block of Kutch District and with the help of Helpline and MVS, maldharis from 32 villages got together to strengthen MVS. They formed a block level Institution ( sangathan) and discussed the problems faced and what all could be done to protect their livelihood. Representatives from MVS ( 125 maldhari men and women) along with MARAG’s resources team had meeting with Block level land officer and submitted a memorandum. The officer has guaranteed to take immediate action. Maldharis presented their problems of how their land has been encroached?? and how they are losing their traditional livelihood. This was happen in front of media personnel’s outside the Government office. The copy of the memorandum was also sent to the Deputy collector and the Block Development officer. The revenue officer too sent the copies immediately to the Dy. Collector and the Village governance body (Gram panchayat).
After a month, the maldharis again met the Block Magistrate /revenue officer and Block development officer. Informed that the Sarpanchs of all the villages of Nakhatrana were sent a letter saying that the land mapping will be done again and according to the number of the cattle in each village will be allotted equivalent grassland (AS per Govt.Gujarat GR on Grazing Land - PER 100 Animal 40 Acer land). Further, the encroached land will also be set free.
Recently it has been known that the Block Magistrate /revenue officer sent a letter informing that illegal control over the grassland / encroached grassland has been taken off in each village of Nakhatrana block.
“One Help line call can save the life and livelihood of the Pastoralist”