People shuttle between KGF, Bangalore daily

As the mines shut down, unemployment hit the people hard, leaving them desperate to seek other avenues of employment. They found it in Bangalore.

Now, around 15,000 men and women hop on to trains to Bangarpet and catch another train to Bangalore everyday to earn their livelihood and make it back to KGF in the night. They could well be your next door maid or your building’s security guard.

Railway officials in fact say that the segment between Bangalore and KGF always enjoys good patronage by the locals.

After the closure of Bharath Gold Mines Limited (BGML), of the nearly 30,000 miners, only a handful survive in the mining area of KGF. The total population estimate of nearly 50,000 live in dilapidated conditions at their semblance of a home.

KGF is deserted for most part of the day with the loss of livelihood for the families after the closing of the mines. The lucky ones who are employed, locals say catch the earliest possible train towards Bangalore and the last train to KGF.

Janava Reddy, a former employee at the mines has no clue, where his next meal is coming from. Once in a while, he works as a casual labourer lifting heavy weights. “I have a shoulder injury, so I can work three days in a row at the most. Then my pain becomes unbearable,” he says. Reddy then spends his time idly, till his shoulder recovers and then he starts looking for some source of work again. “I don’t know how long I will continue like this,” he shrugs dejectedly.

Meet A Kodandram, an employee at Escorts Group in Bangalore. The 35-year-old lives in a small house in KGF and travels each day at 5 in the morning only to return home at 12.30 am each day.

“There are instances in our area where children cannot identify their fathers. Most leave early in the day and return home when their child is asleep. Sometimes, the child mistakes his uncle who may be jobless to be his father, for he is around more often,” laments Kodandram.

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