Dis­tressed Tel­ugu farm­ers sell cat­tle, mi­grate as labour­ers

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - NATION - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

Sec­ond suc­ces­sive year of drought, t he worst in re­cent times, has hit hard Tel­ugu-speak­ing states of Te­lan­gana and Andhra Pradesh, trig­ger­ing mi­gra­tion and dis­tress sale of cat­tle by farm­ers.

With wa­ter lev­els in most ma­jor reser­voirs across Kr­ishna and Go­davari rivers reach­ing dead stor­age and ground wa­ter plum­met­ing fur­ther, al­most en­tire Te­lan­gana and parts of Andhra are reel­ing with wa­ter scarcity.

Scarcity of fod­der has dealt a blow to the cri­sis-rid­den agri­cul­ture. Farm­ers in the worst-hit Ma­habub­na­gar, Nizam­abad and Nal­go­nda dis­tricts of Te­lan­gana and in peren­ni­ally drought­prone Anan­ta­pur district of Ray­alaseema are sell­ing away their cat­tle to slaugh­ter­houses.

With no fod­der and wa­ter, small farm­ers are un­able to main­tain the cat­tle. The farm­ers, who have milch an­i­mals for ad­di­tional in­come, are also sell­ing them off at half the price. For in­stance, cat­tle from var­i­ous vil­lages in Nal­go­nda district are brought to the weekly Kon­damadugu mar­ket for sale.

“I couldn’t have seen it dy­ing of hunger and thirst. So I sold it away,” said G Nar­sa­iah, a farmer from Nal­go­nda district who sold the two bul­lock he had. The an­i­mals are dy­ing be­cause of heat wave. Fam­i­lies de­pen­dent on cat­tle breed­ing are be­ing forced to sale them. There are also re­ports of farm­ers and ag ri­cul­ture labour­ers mi­grat­ing to cities aban­don­ing their pets. Hun­dreds of peo­ple from Ma­habub­na­gar, Nizam­abad and other dis­tricts of Te­lan­gana have mi­grated to cities such as Hy­der­abad, Vi­jayawada, Ben­galuru and Mum­bai to work as con­struc­tion labour­ers. While mi­gra­tion is an an­nual phe­nom­e­non, the num­bers have gone up due to the sever­ity of drought.

Na­tional Ru­ral Em­ploy­ment Guar­an­tee Pro­gramme has also taken a hit be­cause of the scorch­ing sum­mer and also non-pay­ment of wage dues to the labour­ers. Te­lan­gana has de­clared hol­i­days for schools a week in ad­vance due to the heat wave. The govern­ment has an­nounced that mid­day meal scheme for school chil­dren will con­tinue even dur­ing hol­i­days. Tar­get­ting t he Te­lang ana Rash­tra Samithi (TRS) govern­ment for fail­ing to tackle the sit­u­a­tion, op­po­si­tion par­ties and NGOs are de­mand­ing re­lief mea­sures on war foot­ing.

Te lang ana govern­ment de­clared 231 man­dals (rev­enue units com­pris­ing a vary­ing num­ber of vil­lages) of 443 ru­ral man­dals in the state, drought-hit. In Andhra, 359 man­dals of 670 have been de­clared drought-hit. The wa­ter lev­els in 14 ma­jor reser­voirs have fallen alarm­ingly. In Te­lan­gana, wa­ter level has plum­meted fur­ther.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.