Drought forces Palghar tribals flee to urban centres near Mumbai

Drought forces Palghar tribals flee to urban centres near Mumbai
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Mumbai: Drought and unemployment have forced people of Palghar district of Maharashtra to flee their homes in coastal Konkan division and move towards urban pockets in search of a livelihood. Hapless, they are migrating to towns such as Palghar, Nala Sopara, Mira Bhayander, Virar and Dahisar on the fringes of Mumbai.

Tribals, who form the chunk of the population of Palghar district, said they faced major crop loss owing to the drought. The younger among them had applied for compensation, but complain of lack of response from authorities.

Those who have moved on to towns and cities now live in small shacks roofed with cheap plastic sheets or palm-leaves. A majority of them are from places such as Mokhada, Jawhar, Vikramgad, Manor and Dahanu.

They spend days doing odd jobs that might come randomly after they present themselves at the local roundabouts and crossroads. Women earn Rs 300-400 a day, while the wages for men are Rs 500-600. But both genders regret they don’t find work on a regular basis.

The incomes are poor because the employment guarantee schemes aren't efficient. All what comes as a favour from the government is accommodating tribal students in the state-run ashram schools in urban pockets.

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