Read the following passage and answer the questions given after it.

Some 200 km from Leh are the villages of Dha. Haiiu. Garkone and Darchik on both Sides of the Indus River. inhabited by the Buddhist Dard Tribes. The villages are together called the “Aryan valley”. “The word ‘Dard’ is derived from a Sanskrit word. ‘Daradas’. which means people who live on hillsides.” said Vn'endi'a Bangroo. assistant professor at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA). who has extensively researched on their lives. He added people of this
region are cultru‘ally and linguistically different from those in other parts of Ladakh. Among other researchers who have gone into the conumrnity’s roots. there is a line of thought that the “Aryans of Ladakh” or the “Brokpas” might have descended fi‘om soldiers in Alexander’s army who had come to the region over 2.000 years ago. The Dard Aryans. however. do not docrunent their history. Bangroo said.

They rear goat and Sheep for milk and meat. and their festivals are based on the solar calendar. Bangroo visited the regions inhabited by the Dard Aryan community back in 2017. where he helped setup two museums to archive their cultural heritage. Bangroo is of the view that their traditions go back 5.000 years; those who still follow the original customs worship trees. rivers and mountains. These tribals are mainly dependent on agricultru‘e: the apricots grown here are considered among the best in the world and there are 12 varieties of grapes in the
region. Bangroo said grape-wine is very popular in the “Aryan valley”.

A nrunber of researchers. as well as the tribals. perceive a threat to the heritage of the commruiity owing to modernisation. migration and religious conversion. The community now numbers about 4,000. Over the last few decades. many of them have embraced Islam or Buddhism. “The community prohibits marriage with outsiders to keep the gene pool intact. Of late. the Dard men have been migrating to other parts of the region in search of livelihood and manying outside
the tribe.” Bangroo said. “The tribe is struggling to find a balance between modernity and traditional values.” Also. after the Kargil War. development work in this region has been restricted. Some of the areas of the Aryan valley are out of bounds for outsiders. since it
borders Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Members of the community said there are only three high schools in their villages and very limited resoru‘ces for livelihood — mainly because of the harsh weather and difficult terrain. As such. they have no option but to migrate to cities for higher education and employment. They have demanded that the government set up a tribal hostel and declare the “Aryan valley” a heritage village to boost tourism.

Question 162

What are the demands of the Dard Aryans from the government?

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