Migration isn’t something new to the subcontinent; people across have migrated for specific needs up to down and right to left, vice versa in all ages. The only change here is the current migration is urban centric. It has also had its own impact in the rural region too… Though I m urban bred, I am connected with my roots back in my village as I m still the second gen migrant. I still get a chance to go back to my roots and this has triggered me to write these paragraphs
One major change I witnessed from my childhood to current day is that people are slowly stopping cultivating Kharif crop(the one which is grown during monsoon) which predominantly was rice atleast in the areas surrounding the western ghats and had moved to a cash crop(eg bettlenut or supari/coffee etc) The reason being loss of labor force to urban locale. The labor force who worked on the fields migrated for a better pay pack in urban infra industries, cabbies, hotel stewards etc…
Though the change was welcome for the individual, as they earned more and the income was stable across the year unlike the plight back home. I am wondering that we being a predominantly agri oriented society with so much of a populus to feed what would happen if we build more cities and encourage people to migrate one way! Down the lane, we might be importing rice from Cambodia or wheat from China…
After 65 years of independence, I am awed by the fact that we still have majority of the public who don’t have a continual stable income to support their basic needs. Employment is still predominantly contractual in nature. How hard is it to lead a life knowing that you wouldn’t have enough to meet your needs next 6 months? Unimaginable isn’t it? At home after every meal its customary say “Annadatha sukhibava” Did I really mean it when I said that?
It’s time for us to think! About the labors laws and ponder about the divide. Should we not have stricter labor laws? Don’t they deserve equal health care as we do? Education? Incentives for the one who toils in the field, insurances schemes for the crops, basic support price and a share in the selling price for the produce!
Now this is what the political parties have to worry about when they bring out schemes for our “annadatha”. Ensure enough support for a farmer to lead a happy peaceful life… Educate them in multi-trade, social security & healthcare, stable income plans & pension support etc. As long as the government after government neglect the real evils in the rural society and bring up strong constitution and scheme of defining agri based labor laws our generation will end up not having the luxury of having 2 meals a day.
One might say I have too many question marks here… these are the ones that rose in me, thought I will share with you all!
Thanks for reading, Healthy criticism welcome.