Migrant workers in Kodagu district return home

Migrant workers in Kodagu district return home

Coffee estates face shortage of water; better rains at workers' native districts

With North Karnataka region receiving good rainfall this season, labourers who had migrated to Kodagu in search of employment, have left for their native regions.

The severe drought in the months of April and May in the northern areas had led the labourers to migrate to Kodagu district. They were residing in town by constructing small huts on the vacant land identified for the private bus shelter in Madikeri.

Barring 10 families – who are into construction work – others have returned to their native. The hearth, the pillars used for the tents and the old clothes are still lying in the place where these labourers were residing.

Normally, every year, the labourers come in search of employment to the coffee land, however, due to severe water crisis, the labourers did not get much employment and could not earn much this year.

The coffee growers said, “Kodagu did not receive pre-monsoon showers in the months of April and May. As a result, the coffee crops had started drying and a majority of the growers had stopped the work in the estates. Every year, we could ask the labourers to do a lot of work, including removal of weeds in the estates. This year, however, we could not give them any work in the estates due to intense heat and shortage of water.”

Susheelamma of Chitradurga, who was getting ready to return home, said, “In our village at Molakalmoor in Chitradurga, we do not get water for drinking during peak summer. I have been migrating to Madikeri for the last 10 years. Last year, we had enough work here, but, this year, a large number of labourers from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh too had migrated to Kodagu in search of employment. Our earnings this year’s earnings are not sufficient to fulfil the educational needs of our children.”
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