Marathwada drought-affected migrate to city for livelihood
CRUEL WEATHER Residents of Marathwada take up daily-wage work, but want to return at the earliest
As drought spreads its fangs on the state, the farmers are forced to endure its fierceness.
In regions such as Marathwada and Vidarbha millions are bereft of livelihood. Result: Migration in bulk to the urban areas.
A large number of droughtaffected have arrived in Navi Mumbai and most of them have either taken shelter in their relatives’ place or have taken refuge at the railway stations, bus depots and other such public places. For daily survival they have also taken up odd jobs at construction sites, restaurants, hotels and public venues.
Residents of over 10 villages from Beed district have already come to the city. Social workers say around 5,000 droughtaffected people have arrived in the city so far.
According to some of the tillers, lack of rain and water has hit farming big-time. Some of them have taken hefty loans for tilling but the cruel weather has turned their farmland into wasteland.
Some of the villagers said they travel 5 to 10km every day to find potable water. Hence, they had no choice but to migrate to “greener” pastures.
Mahesh Darekar, an immigrant from Ashti taluka in Beed, said, “The drought has destroyed us. There is little to eat in our village. The education of our children had to be discontinued. The fields are barren, the wells and rivers are dry. There is no drinking water. We had no option but to leave our village and come to the city. If we manage to get food twice a day we would consider it to be more than enough. We spend the nights with our families wherever we find a place. During the day, we take up whatever work that we get.”
For work, the villagers have spread out to Vashi, Nerul, Kharghar, Kalamboli, Kamothe and Panvel. However, it’s not only men who are slogging in this heat and dust. The women, too, are working in tandem with the men for some extra bucks.
Namdeo Suryavanshi from Jalna district has been in Nerul for the past couple of months.
“There was no work in my village. My wife and three children have come with me. I have taken a small room on rent here and make my living by selling sugarcane juice. My wife helps me too. I earn around Rs 300 daily. It helps me feed my family. The moment things improve in my village, we will go back. This place seems like a foreign land. But who are we to choose the place of stay?” he asked.
I have taken a small room on rent here and make my living by selling sugarcane juice. My wife helps me too. I earn around Rs 300 daily. It helps me feed my family. NAMDEO SURYAVANSHI, Jalna district