‘Abandoned’ Pahalgam ponywalas left at the mercy of elements

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PAHALGAM: Ponywalas of Pahalgam Saturday alleged that the indifferent attitude of the government has further compounded their problems making their lives difficult.
With the advent of winter they said that their problems would multiply if the government wouldn’t wake up to their issues “There has already been a snowfall and we’ve no place to keep our horses,” said the leader of the ponywalas Ghulam Nabi. “There’re no veterinary facilities and in case our horses fall ill, we’ve nowhere to take them for treatment.”
Alleging that the government has completely ‘forgotten’ them, he said that the ponywalas have contributed a lot to the tourist industry fetching fat revenues for the government. “What we get is peanuts while we feature at the top of the attraction that Pahalgam is known for,” said a ponywala, Rahman Ganaie. “There’re no toilet facilities, no medical care, no bathrooms for us. We’ve been totally abandoned.”
Pahalgam and poniwalas have existed ever since it came on the tourist map and they constitute a vital component of the tourist industry. It’s impossible to look at Pahalgam without a little doze of horse riding.
“We burn our bodies to take people who visit Pahalgam, to many places,” said another ponywala, Fayaz Ahmad. “In return, we are ridiculed, insulted and sometimes labeled as cheats.”

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