Drought in Bundelkhand forcing farmers to migrate

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Bhopal, Aug. 15 (ANI): A drought-like situation in Uttar Pradesh's Bundelkhand region has forced hundreds of villagers to migrate to other parts of country in search of their daily bread.

The Bundelkhand region, which overlaps Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, has received scanty rainfall and poor irrigation facilities, and this has severely affected farmers.

Marginal farmers and landless labourers have been the worst affected and don't know where their next meal is coming from.

"The entire Bundelkhand is becoming empty, everybody is leaving the village. Whether small or big farmers, all are migrating to other places. They have no hopes that they can survive here any more. They have lost their trust in the state government. Their prime concern is livelihood and to provide two-square meals a day to their children," said Jagdish Chandra, a farmer of Mathanpura village.

Farmers of Mathanpura, Bundeli, Baddupur, Madanpura villages of Jhansi district have abandoned their homes and lands to proceed to far off places in search of work.

These villages are presenting a deserted look and as one villager noted, over the past two months, around 13,000 houses have remained vacant.

"I have small children to feed. We are not in good financial state. If we ask for money nobody provides us. There is water scarcity in the village as such agricultural activity has come to a standstill," lamented Ravindra, another farmer.

The main grouse of the farmers is that the Uttar Pradesh Government has never cared to address their grievances and facilitate proper irrigation facilities.

With no other alternative, the landless labourers are heading towards the nearest railway station and board either a Delhi or Bhopal bound train.

"I have many children and we have no food to eat. Though I have acres of land, in the absence of rainfall and proper irrigation, cultivation is impossible. I have three wells but all have dried up. Therefore we have proposed to migrate to Delhi where we will work as masons," noted Suman, another landless labourer. (ANI)

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