India’s Demonetization Policy Triggers Famine In Rural Areas

India’s Demonetization Policy Triggers Famine In Rural Areas

January 1, 2017

From an article on

” ‘We can eat only if we work every day,’ D. Narayanappa said after returning to Bucharla from Bengaluru on November 4. Like many other Dalits in this village, he migrates to the city to work on construction sites for most of the year, coming home every now and then for a few days.

But in November, the migrants stay on for a month or more in their village in Roddam mandal of Anantapur district on the Andhra Pradesh-Karnataka border. During this month, like the others, Narayanappa too works on the farms in Bucharla to keep bringing in an income. Not working for some length of time is not an option.

We are Ambedkar’s people,’ says D. Narayanappa at his home in Bucharla, explaining why his community finds it so much more difficult to borrow money informally

This year, the sacrifices were scheduled for November 29. The migrants had started coming home with the money they had saved, looking forward to the festivities. Then, demonetisation hit them.

Along with the severe shortage of cash in the village, lower groundnut and mulberry yields after a poor monsoon and falling or fluctuating prices have eaten into the farmers’ incomes in Roddam. They have not been able to regularly employ labourers. Many agricultural labourers from various castes in the village were not paid their daily wages – Rs. 150 for men, Rs. 100 for women – for 15 days in November…”

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