People from the salt yards near the Coastline of Rajula and Jafrabad blocks of Gujarat often move as seasonal migrants with their children for earning a livelihood. Migrating to places for earning is good as it makes people financially independent. However, due to this, the children and elderly family members have to suffer. The children are not able to continue with their studies and the elderly parents are left behind at home, as they are not able to move with their migrating children. This situation has always been of great concern for GHCL Foundation Trust.
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, this season many of these villagers were not able to move out as workers and were forced to stay back home. For some time the Trust ensured a supply of food kits to fulfil their basic requirement, but this was not a permanent solution.
After analysing various facts, GHCL Foundation Trust decided to help these people to be productive. Many of these migrants owned small pieces of land that was unused. The Foundation Trust conducted surveys of these lands and called everyone to discuss the opportunities in the presence of the village Sarpanch, Mantri and other leaders. The migrants were not willing to start cultivation in their land, as they were not having the money to buy the required seeds and fertilisers for the same. The Foundation Trust supported them and distributed organic manure, Bajra seeds, and vegetable seeds to around 125 families across 8 villages. In addition, 1350 saplings of coconut, mango, lemon, pomegranate, and chiku were given.
This initiative helped the migrant families utilise their land to earn livelihood. This will also prevent them from migrating to other places for small earnings. If the Foundation Trust is successful in its efforts then their children will also be able to continue with their studies, as they will not have to move out with their parents.
This is just the beginning, The Foundation Trust is trying to convince such migrants each day to find an option to work on their fields so that all of them can stick together as a family and support each other.