Anantapur: Farmers return home for Ugadi

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Following consecutive years of drought, Naik, migrated to Kerala in search of a job six months ago.

ANANTAPUR: K.Venkatesh Naik, a small farmer from Nallamada in Anantapur district, is one of many who looked relieved and happy to be back in his native tribal village after he returned from Kerala. Following consecutive years of drought, Naik, migrated to Kerala in search of a job six months ago. He  returned home two days ago to celebrate Ugadi with his family members. “My old mother and my children continue to stay in the village while I migrated to Kerala along with my wife. I’ve returned home to celebrate this important festival,” said Naik.

Naik and thousands of migrant farmers and labourers returned to their native places to spend some time with their family members on the occasion of Ugadi. Sources say at least 3 lakh small farmers and farm labourers migrated to  Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in search of gainful employment following  drought conditions in Anantapur district. During a recent visit by the media and the CPI, a large  number of small farmers were seen taking shelter on the footpaths in Pondi-cherry. A majority of them opted for Pondicherry to keep away from locals.

 A horticulturist from Kadiri area, on condition of anonymity, broke into tears, saying that he had led a prestigious life in the village, but now was unable to feed his family. “If I work as a labourer either locally or close to the village, it would be a shame for me, so I went to Pondicherry as a daily labourer to assist in construction works,”  he said. Most of the villages in Kadiri, Madakasira, Puttparthi and Penukonda, which were deserted after mass  migrations, are looking colourful after the villagers returned to their homes. B.Ramanna from Morubagal area in Gudibanda said he had returned home after a long gap to see his old parents.

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