Rain ravage forces exodus from Gadag tandas

Children, old, infirm, pregnant and new mothers left behind

Desolate: Varavi tanda in Shirahatti taluk wears a deserted look as the majority of its residents have migrated to other places in search of livelihoods. dh photo

Left behind in the village are only the old and infirm, children, pregnant and new mothers.
More than 500 people have left their homes in the neighbouring villages - Varavi, Chabbi, Kundralli, Mahalingapur as well.

And, hundreds of women and men in groups are preparing to leave for destinations such as Mangalore, Chikmagalur and Goa.

Standing crop damaged

Heavy rain that lashed the district recently damaged the standing crop on vast tracts of land, obviating the need for agriculture labourers.

The tanda residents, whose livelihood depends on wage labour, will have to wait till the next monsoon to get work. A large number of them have already left for coffee plantations and sugar cane fields in Goa, Karwar and Chikmagalur.

Couples who have none at home to take care of their young children, have left the tanda with the young, forcing them to drop out of school.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, aimed at preventing precisely such distress migration has not been of much use as the members of these tandas, who live in abject poverty, need daily wages for sustenance.

Under the MGNREGS, wages are paid once in a week, and in any case, the programme is riddled with corruption and hobbled by bureaucratic sloth and callousness.

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