Gujars are the people found all over Northern India.
Van Gujars are the pastoral nomads who inherently are Sunni Muslims who inhabit the foothills of Shivalik ecosystem which, lies between the Himalaya and the Upper Gangetic plains.
At the bottom of the 'raos' close to the forest edge and the road lie the villages of the settled populations while their extensions into the interiors of the Shivaliks mark the territories of the Van Gujars.
The Gujars from Jammu and Kashmir migrated to the neighboring northern states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The reasons attributed to this trend is owing to the changing circumstances such as non-cooperative or hostile attitude of the local hill people, indications from the forest Department to stop migration of Gujars, tightening of grazing rules and the fact that a number of Gujars have acquired land either given to them by forest Department or they have bought it by their own meager means.
Gujars are well knit community with each individual knowing about the Gujars of other Sots.
The Deras are normally temporary in nature in the sense that the Deras get dismantled by the forest officials while Gujars make upward movement and Van Gujars construct it once again upon returning back to the Shivaliks after their summer stay at Alpines.
Gujars are very hospitable towards any outsider who visits them.
The education levels in Gujars are nonexistent except for the new generation who were studying in an education center run by the government till 5th standard.
Van Gujars see health as connected to their lifestyle in the forest and they perceive themselves much healthier in the forests than in the cities.
Apart from that the Gujars who reside within 10-15kms inside the forest find it difficult to reach the worksites that are at quite a distance for them.
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