REPORT (SALT FARM FIELD VISIT) -Tanisha Sushil
REPORT (SALT FARM FIELD VISIT)
The Rann of Kutch is a large area of salt marshes located in Gujarat (primarily the Kutch district), India and the southern tip of Sindh, Pakistan. It is divided into two main parts: Great Rann of Kutch and Little Rann of Kutch. For our report we visited to the Little Rann of Kutch. Little Rann of Kutch is situated near by Kharaghoda town in surendranagar district in Indian state of Gujarat. There mainly Agariyas live which are engaged in salt farming for their living. The people have transportation facilities and well connected to railway lines. It has 4 schools, 1 hospital and 1 Setu Arogya Kendra.
Team left from Knowledge Consortium of Gujarat by 7AM and reached Kharaghoda by 12 noon.There we stopped at temple, where we had a discussion with some of the Agariyas regarding their salt farms.They briefed about the process of moving Agariyas to their salt farms as follows:
1. After monsoon ends (by mid-October and November) they move to salt farms and in period of monsoon they arrange things which are required to take in salt farms.
2. They took all of their things to salt farms like clothes, utensils, household needs, food items etc.
3. According to them, transportation costs them 2500-5000K depending upon size of family
4. Then it takes them 3-4 days to construct house there. They use Nilgiri, Saag and Babul to make a structure and sac made up of clothes, jute and plastic.
5. There they dig wells and make the salt pans and also, they remove the cloth from ducts which they had putted at the end of the season to close hole.
6. They use traditional chulha to cook food and it is made at the corner of the house
7. They use solar energy at day time and crude oil at night time to operate generators
8. They spend approx. 10-15K on purchasing food items.
9. They spend 1K on drinking water to bring tanks.
10. They got 25-27rs of 1 ton of salt.
Then we went to Setu Arogya Kendra which is a charitable trust which general tests and treatment to salt farmers at free of cost and if condition is severe then they took them to Ahmedabad for treatment in a private hospital at free of cost. Also, they were having one van which goes to nearby villages to treat people. We gathered some more information like:
1. They got revenue to make house in Kutch, near salt farm from government.
Forest officers do not allow them to make particularly round base house.
Then we headed towards one of the salt farms where we got this information:
1. They have to travel approx. 30 km from village.
2. They have e-rickshaw and a bike on which they spend approx. 500rs
3. They spend nearly 10K on food spend per month
4. They have a tank facility which comes every 15 days to provide them water. And the cost of water if 500rs per 1000L.
5. They happily live 8 months at salt farm.
6. They do not have proper bathing and toilet facility.
7. They use gumboots while working in salt farms
8. There were lot of sparrows, also they have built up nest in their house.
9. Their house contained 4 sections. First, open space; second, living space and kitchen; third, private space and fourth as a storage
10. No proper ventilation.
11. There was another layer of sac below the roof in which they have kept their clothes.
12. They use bamboo sticks to give make boundary and nilgiri tree to give support in between.
Also their daughter used to make wall handlings and decorative things.
Then we went to salt processing factory where they remove impurities and process brine solution to salt flakes.
Then we went to one part of the village where that van of Setu Arogya Kendra was treating people and doctor was checking up patients through skype and other members were giving medicines.
And then we went to our accommodation places.
· First, we went to Chamunda which 17 km from Kharaghoda where we were expecting a family of salt farmer but they had left the place because monsoon is soon. There we found Mica which comes out while they dig well. Mica is used as thermal insulation that means it is heat resistant.
· Then we went to Naranpura which is 29 km from Kharaghoda. There we saw a tank of water and some families of salt farmers were situated there. They used that tank’s water to for drinking purpose and many other.
· Then we headed towards Varchchraj mandir which is 55 km from Kharaghoda.
· Then we came back to Kharaghoda and talked to different salt farmers who were residing in village; leaving their salt farms.
· Family 1 (Kanchan ben)
1. They use crude oil to run generators and it cost 13K per barrel’.
2. Water cost them 1rs/lit. For first month they have to arrange water by their own. But from next month government’s tank come to give water which is free of cost.
3. Their farm is 30km from village. And they live happily at farm.
4. Every year new school is constructed. And teacher travels daily to Rann.
5. It took 3-4 days to construct house there. During construction days, they used to sleep in open. One log of nilgiri cost them 60rs. They use plastic sheets to wrap around sticks. Jute sac cost them about 20rs
6. Their overall spent is about 3-4 lacs. And they got 1 lac of profit.
7. They intake only black tea, potato and onion.
8. They use to work altogether.
· Family 2 (Khoda bhai)
1. There are 5 members in his family.
2. He works in government salt processing factory which is 3-4 km far. He uses cycle to go there.
3. his son also goes to same factory but in evening.
4. Ladies work as cumin plucking in winters and got 100rs per day.
1. They go out in open field for excretion.
2. Their house structure is not suitable.
3. They have to struggle with wood logs.