Uttarakhand , a state commonly called as Land of Gods was officially born on. 9th Nov 2000.
A land known for giving birth to soldiers (Ranks no.1 in army recruitment), The people occupying the top echelons of the country’s security establishments today belong to the land of gods with current Army Chief (Lt. Gen Bipin Rawat) , RAW Chief ( Amit Dhasmana) , Coast Guard Chief( Rajendra Singh), NSA Chief ( Ajit Doval) , DGMO Chief ( Anil Bhatt) hails from Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand also known for its eternal beauty, terrifying and insurmountable hills, the purifying river “the Ganges” , land of lord Shiva and innumerous deities, Land of Chipko Environmental Movement is facing the worst problem of temporary and permanent Migration in the recent times commonly called as “ PALLAYAN “.
The state has now crossed legitimate voting age and but the people who will vote have moved out from the state so terribly that almost 700 villages have gone completely empty in last seven years appearing like GHOST villages .
- A state report says that on an average 33 people are leaving the state every day for last 10 years taking the count to more than 1 lac people from 3576 villages permanently moving out of the state in last 10 years
- Approximately 3.83 lac people from 6000 + villages have temporarily moved out of the state in quest of employment, studies and better medical facilities.
- Over 700 Uttarakhand villages deserted in 10 years
The eyes dropped a tear when I got to hear that in one village of Uttarakhand there were not even 4 people to give the shoulder to a dead body. The condition is that the villages are going empty at a massive rate.
The report mentions Nepali population moving into the state while its own population is moving out.
Even though Uttarakhand has seen better economic growth and prosperity , it has not been able to curb the migration problem in hills where they are migrating towards plain districts (intra-state migration) if not across states.
With so many important aspects and beauty in it’s kitty why is that the fundamental villages of the state are getting vacant ?
There have been various reasons to it:
- Aspirations amongst the people to provide better education to their children led them to move out at early years to Delhi, Mumbai etc
- Poor basic healthcare services, road connectivity, and basic needs to earn the livelihood are other reasons for people migrating to the other places in early 2000
- Lack of job opportunities and quest for job have forced people to move from villages and come to plains and major cities
- Harsh Agricultural conditions prevailing in the hills ( increased temperature and irregular rainfall , damage caused to agricultural
crops and horticultural plantations by monkeys and wild boars ), less government support caused people to migrate towards the plains
A report stated that the proliferation of alien invasive plant species,especially Lantana Camara, Parthenium hysterophorus etc.
have resulted in the conversion of fertile agricultural land to barren. Furthermore, the youth in rural areas are no more interested in agriculture and prefer to migrate towards the plains as it generates higher income comparatively easily
- The creation of SEZ’s in UK ( Rudrapur SIDCUL, Dehradun, Haridwar, Roorkee created the job opportunities for local people which actually left many people to move from villages to seek small jobs in various industries.
When I see my own village today, youths have either joined the Indian Army, para military, police force or either have moved to adjoining cities for better employment opportunities in the field of hospitality, banks , temporary contractual workers, or are owning small business in their own capacities.
Can we stop the migration? Is this migration on a positive direction? Will reverse migration help? Is it increasing the Per capita income?
Why not our rural population get better facilities in their own villages?? Why not a better education? Why not develop these villages as better weekend getaways , a tourism place where the rural population earns too. Developing the curvaceous path in these villages as a proper trekking place will give more earning potential to the villages in these mountain region.
Why not develop one special place in a village as a picnic spot ? There is always a something special in every village in Uttarakhand . Isn’t it?
The situation reminds me of one song “ Ghar AAja Pardesi- Tera Desh Bulaye Re”
By: Kumud Kandpal