Kutch visit -Salt farmers
Updated: Jun 4, 2019
Subject: Affordable houses for Salt Farmers of Kutch
Location of the field: Kharaghoda Village
Date: 1 & 2 June
Prepared by : Prashant Helaiya
Description of the field
On 1st and 2nd June we visited a village named Kharaghoda, Savda and Desert which is located 102km away from Ahmedabad. The most of the villagers do salt farming.
At first we talked to people of Kharaghoda village and then visited the desert, where some of the family still there for salt farming. Transportation facilities were so bad there is no Road on the route from village to Desert. Kharaghoda village is one of the 5 main villages Nava Kharaghoda, Juna Kharaghoda, Naranpura and Odu. Actually they have common High School.
Observations at Kharaghoda
Our problem is Low Cost Housing for salt farmers. So we talked to some Agariyas of Kharaghoda. We asked about their work, what do they actually do? And Main process of salt making. Actually I never saw salt making process and I was curious to know about it, we talked about other things too, not only Housing.
So, I’m just going to list the observations that we noticed at field visit:
· They start their work in tenth month(Gujrat) which is “Aso”.
· Agariya works continuously about 8 to 10 months in the desert in high temperature.
· They work with full family, first of all they make a temporary house with using,
- Cotton sheets
- Plastic bags
· They use cotton rope to bind the wood which is called jute rope, “Sindhari” in Gujrati.
· First of all, I thought there will be no facilities of electricity but actually they have their own Generator to produce electricity and also pump out of the water from well.
· They use tractor to transport all the stuff they need in the desert from the village. They spend about 3000 INR to transport the stuffs from village.
· All the requirements of the family such as, clothes, food, water, wood, jute, tools etc. They take with them from village.
· Government provides water after land gets dry, tanker cannot travel in the muddy soil. So, salt farmers have to take water for use until government provides tankers. The price of the water is 1INR for 1 Lit water.
· They were saying that they spend about 13 to 15 thousand INR per month for Food.
· After completion of the salt farming they do not do any other work
· Most of the peoples salt farm were 20 to 25 km away from their home.
· I thought there will be no education facilities in the desert but, they construct temporary school, and teachers travel there to give education to students. I never knew about it and it was so amazing.
· The average cost of the house is about 5000 INR, it is the average amount because farmers make house as per their requirements like big family will need bigger house and small family will need small house.
· 3 to 4 days is enough to make hut.
· Salt farmers spend their remaining time in marriage, family matters, goes for vacations etc.etc. in short their main work is salt farming only.
· See the pic. There is a water storage tank provided, they use that stored water until new government tanker comes. I mean they have to compromise in water use.
· Government tankers provide 1500 to 1700 litre water every 15 to 20 days.
Approx. Price of the materials
Bamboos: 30-40 INR (10 to 12 ft long)
Jute :15-20 INR per 1 pcs.
Jute Rope: 80 INR per 1 kg
Water :1000 INR for 1000lit water
Patrol :700 to 1000 INR
Crude oil :12,900 INR per barrel
Fig. Wooden Skelton of the Temporary house
· By stitching clothes like old jeans, sarris and plastic bags of cement or any other material, they use that as a Roofing material from protection of Sunlight, rain etc.
· They use Jute rope to bind the wooden planks.
· The Kharaghoda village is located beside a river called Okaro.
· To make shelter or temporary house they use Bamboos, Sagvan, Babool and for Roofing they use jute sheet and sometimes plastic sheets for water proofing.
Dimensions of the Home:
Spacing between two bamboo strips: 2’ (it was uneven, but in between 1.5 to 2 ft)
Horizontal Spacing: 2’5’’
(All dimensions are in feet otherwise stated)
· The wooden skeleton was so systematic, horizontal and vertical spacing was almost uniform.
· Salt water is highly effective, and it is responsible for low Soil Bearing Capacity of land.
· I noticed that at some places soil was yellowish type, I would have asked about it I totally forgot it. I think yellow colour indicates acidic properties of soil.
See the p
See the pic, salinity of soil can affect the wood used in house.ity of soil can affect the wood used in house.
· The soil can affect the wood, so we took some soil samples and wood samples to check the amount of salt available in there.
· They use Generator to produce electricity, they use crude oil as fuel in generator. The price of the crude oil is 12,800 per 200 lit.
Fig. Generator, used for pumping out water from well and produce electricity
· Salt farmers use solar panels at day and generator at night.
No toilet facilities only bathroom
No Medical facilities
Rain water, leakage problems, sometimes water gets in to house
· They used to cut wood from forest and use them but now they cannot because forest department does not allow, it is kind of illegal thing.
· Salt farmers also said that they have problem with Animals Nil cow, wildass and other wild animals.
· Sometimes animals destroy their house.
· They use dunk of wild ass to make flooring, mixing with wet soil.
· They said that there is problem with transportation, sometimes because of wet land tanker and other vehicles sleeps and major accidents occurs.
Conversations with people of kharaghoda:
We talked to so many people and asked them some questions, viz
Family Members – 7
They use tractor for transportation
They do not do any other work, only salt farming
They solar pdanels instead of Crude oil
The price of the crude oil – 13000 INR
Average use of patrol – 1000 INR
They come back every month
To make house they mostly use tree of Nilgiri
The price of the wood is 60 INR
They use jute sheets and also plastic sheets to make roof.
· Actually, we took 9 more samples, most of the data was same.
Thank you for Reading.