'No Work, No Land': Landless Dalits Struggle To Survive Amid Pandemic

by GoNews Desk 3 years ago Views 2612

'No Work, No Land': Landless Dalits Struggle To Su
The entire country is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic but people who have been lying on the margins of society for ages have borne the brunt of it.

A large number of people who do not own agricultural land in villages had arrived in cities to work as labourers. Now, they face the biggest crisis since they have lost their livelihood in cities as well. 

The Indian society is divided into segments based on the caste system, among which the Dalit community is very weak both socially and economically. 

The Agriculture Census Report of 2015-16 reveals that only 9% of Dalits in the country have ownership rights on agricultural land and 71% of Dalits work on land which they do not own themselves.

In villages, around 58% of Dalit families possess no land at all. The condition is the worst in Haryana, Punjab and Bihar, where 85% of Dalits are landless and completely dependent on the big farmers of their villages.

In states such as Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, 60% of Dalits are landless and compelled to work as daily wage labourers in other people’s agricultural fields.

There are several districts in these states where over 90% of Dalits are landless and forced to live as bonded labourers.

It is a large population of these landless labourers that works on daily wages in cities. They work as domestic helps, gardeners, security guards, labourers and masons etc and after going back to villages, they work in other people’s agricultural fields.

Evidently, the lockdown is no less than a nightmare for these landless Dalits because now they are out of work both in cities and in villages.

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