Spending life in the middle of cotton farms

About 40 families have migrated to Atmakur from drought-hit areas, and children are the biggest victims

For 8-year-old Mahadev and his 12-year-old sister, Madahavi, the day starts with them going to the farm carrying food and water to help the elders. They also carry with them cotton collection bags, which are tied to the back of the person who plucks the cotton. Their day ends in the evening.

Mahadev and Madahavi, along with their father, Pedda Hanumaiah, a small-time farmer, migrated from Chinnachintakunta village in Kosgi mandal of Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh to eke a living here.

Dropping out

They are among the 40 families who have migrated from drought-hit areas. Unable to leave the children at home at their native village, the elders were forced to bringing them along, and, invariably, pulling them out of school.

At one location, there are as many as 12 such children, who help the elders in the family at the fields. These children are also instrumental in packing the cotton bags.

“We came here leaving our mother and brother at home. It’s been about a month since we’ve been working here. We might leave this place in a couple of weeks,” said one of the girls.

“We have migrated from drought-hit areas where the crops had completely dried. We cannot leave our children at our native village due to some compulsions. This is not the first time we’ve migrated with our children — this is the norm,” said Hanumaiah, who migrated from Pattikonda area mandal of Kurnool district.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 4:45:50 AM |

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