Marathwada Villagers forced to Migrate
Families are forced to leave their aged parents & children to find jobs in cities
Mumbai: It’s not just about parched land and dry taps, but there’s a humanitarian crisis that’s unfolding in the villages of Marathwada, which is reeling under four successive droughts and bureaucratic apathy. People are forced to migrate to cities in search of jobs, but what makes the situation poignant is that they are sometimes forced to leave their old parents and children to fend for themselves.
Barely a few kilometres away from Latur in Masurdi village, for instance, Belabai Bhalekar (70) sits outside her home. Her son Pandhari (50) has taken his wife and gone to Pune, looking for a job, leaving her mother behind in a village of 1,000odd people.
Under normal circumstances, this isn’t a matter that would attract much talk. But these are not normal times, and Bhalekar is half blind, can barely walk, and has to run to fetch some water when the water tanker arrives in her village. When you ask her why her son didn’t take her to Pune as well, she sa- In almost every parched village in Marathwada, one would hear similar stories, one more hopeless than the other id, “He is working as a porter, living in a rented house… I will be a liability for him, so I have decided to stay here.”
In almost every parched village in Marathwada, where people have migrated to cities to make ends meet, you would hear similar stories, one more hopeless than the other. Take Sarubhai Disle’s (85) case in Dislewadi in Beed district -- her son Bapuramji Disle left with his wife to look for a job in the city. Disle now has to depend on Sharda, her 12-year-old grand daughter who has been left behind to take care of her.
Sharda goes to school, comes home to cook for her grandmother, and then trudges more than a kilometre to fetch drinking water.
While Disle has her granddaughter to take care of her, in the case of her relative Asoba Disle (60), she has to take care of her three-year-old granddaughter Didi, as her son Shivnath works as a driver in Karad. Shirur resident Rameshwar Khsirsagar said that in many villages young girls, as young as 13, have been left alone by their parents who have gone to cities to look for work.
"The girls live all alone taking care not just of themselves, but also their siblings. It might seem heartless, but parents have no option but to travel to cities to find work to feed their families," said Kshirsagar.
SUCH A LONG WAIT FILE PHOTO