15 November is Pastoralists Day

Organizations working with livestock herders have chosen 15 November 2005 as Pastoralists Day.

Repression and extortion by the Forest Department is forcing pastoralists in India to abandon their traditional livelihood. In Rajasthan, department officials have prohibted herders from grazing their animals on land they have used for generations. With nowhere to graze, pastoralists are forced to sell their animals – so the camel is gradually becoming extinct in Rajasthan. Local breeds of goats and cattle are also endangered.

Lokhit Pashu-Palak Sansthan, a partner of LPP working in South Asia, plans pastoralist protests in the tehsils of Bali and Desuri in Rajasthan.

In Tamil Nadu, in the south of India, SEVA (Sustainable Agriculture & Environmental Voluntary Action) will be holding community prayers at several locations.