How did the pastoralists cope with the serious shortage of pastures? Explain.
Under colonial rule when grazing lands were taken over and turned into cultivated fields, the available area of pasture land started declining.
The pastoralists reacted to these changes in different ways
(i) Some pastoralists reduced their number of cattle as there was not enough pasture to feed them. Others discovered new pastures, when old grazing areas were not available.
(ii) After 1947, the Raikas could no longer move to Sindh. The new political boundaries between India and Pakistan stopped their movement. So in recent years, they have been migrating to Haryana, where sheep can graze agricultural fields after the harvests. The fields also need manure that the animals can provide.
(iii) The rich pastoralists started buying land and gave up their nomadic life. Some have become peasants while , others have taken extensive trading. Some poor pastoralists borrowed money from moneylenders to survive. Many of them have lost their cattle and became labourers, working on fields in small towns.
(iv) Inspite of all these difficulties, pastoralists not only continue to survive, in many areas, their numbers have expanded over recent decades. When pasture lands in one place was closed to them, they changed the direction of their movement and reduced the size of the herd. Sometimes, they combined pastoral activity with other forms of income and adapted to the changes in the modern world.