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OIPA approaches Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment to help Gadi Lohars community
The Indian People for Animals (OIPA) and Kadyan Khap International(KKI) – both social organizations dedicated for animals and needy people - in its communication to the Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment have approached to help the Gadi Lohars community.

In an email to Citizen Journalist, Abhishek Kadyan, Media Advisor OIPA from Rohini, informed that the Gadi Lohars are a community of wandering blacksmith found in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

However, they are concentrated mainly in north-east part of Maharashtra and few scattered through the other states. They are known under different name in the different states - Chittoriya Lohar, Panchal Lohar or Gadia Lohar in Madhya Pradesh; Ghisadi, Chittoriya Lohar or Rajput Lohar in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Gadi, Gadia, Gadoliya or Gaduliya Lohar are found in southern part of Rajasthan and north-eastern region of Maharashtra.

He has further stated in his email that as a matter of fact, the words, Gadi, Gadia, Gadoliya or Gaduliya are the synonyms of bullock-cart. The Gadi Lohars are characterised by five taboos: - not to return to the Chittorgarh Fort - not to live in permanently settled homes - not to light candle at night - not to keep their cots in the carts - not to keep a rope for drawing water from a well.

They attribute the taboos to their Rajput ancestors who, it is believed, prepared iron weapons for the army of a Rajput ruler of Chittorgarh but escaped from the Fort when it was attacked by Akbar, They then pledged to become a nomadic people observing the above self imposed taboos till the freedom and glory of the Fort were revived. Although no historic evidence is available, the tradition among the Gadi Lohars is fairly strong.

Stating about the origin of the community, Kadyan stated that some of their customs and beliefs, revealed though their actual practices, lend support to the traditional account of the origin of the community. Despite social workers and politicians, assured the Gadi Lohars to get back their lost respect, they didn't left their traditional belief that those who break the taboo would be destroyed by Kali, the Goddess of that Place.

If their contentions that their ancestors belonged to the upper caste of the Rajputs is accepted, it is really painful to imagine the different factors which must have contributed in lowering the social prestige of the community till, at last, they were pushed to a very low status in the Hindu Society.

Their adoption of the practice of using bullock-carts, conditions with no clothes, illiteracy, extreme poverty were looked down by the Hindus in particular and the damage to their prestige caused by their own taboos, especially not keeping a rope for drawing water from a well to get water, they have to stand a foot away and depend on upper caste people to pour water in their empty pots.

He also stated that all these circumstances state that during the last four centuries as to how the historical accident almost completely changed the socio-cultural life of the community.

Kadyan Khap International demands allotment of land, residential houses for the said community people, right to vote, education, food, shelter, employment, health and treatment for the Gadi Lohara community.

Abhishek Kadyan Media Adviser of OIPA - Indian People for Animals - and Programme Director Miss Sukanya Kadyan informed that the said community peoples are involved in cow progeny smuggling from one state to another, to supply further to the butchers which needs special attention through counseling. They however, desired that the Animal Welfare Division and Animal Welfare Board of India (Ministry of Environment and Forest) may kindly be asked to do so, in the interest of public and animals at large besides enrollment as voter of the eligible persons.

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