The 110 families of Kumhars (brickmakers) living on the banks of Narmada in Madhya Pradesh are worried as life as they knew it for generations, will end soon. “My home and our brick kiln land will be submerged by the Sardar Sarovar dam,” says Om Prakash Prajapati, a Kumhar from Nisurpur, a village in Madhya Pradesh.
However, the till date, the government has not taken any initiative to even access the occupational loss of this community with a survey. Neither is the community confident that the State has any plans to rehabilitate them to similar occupational grounds.
The neglect from the Madhya Pradesh government has raised the fear in the 110 families with one persistent question, ‘Will we have to leave their ancestral jobs and become daily wagers?’
While the government urges urban India to take up entrepreneurship, the spirit of business in these small communities is being quashed in the name of development. The community is worried for their future, “How do we earn a livelihood? How do we educate them? How do we run the house?” asks Om Prakash. But the government doesn’t seem to have an answer to his concerns.
“There appears to be no arrangement for rehabilitation, or livelihoods for Kumhars, who make vessels and bricks from clay,” reveals Davaram Khanera, an activist from Nisurpur who has been fighting for fair compensations to the Narmada oustees in the region.
Pawan Solanki, 24, our Community Correspondent in Madhya Pradesh has been documenting the testimonies of the displaced in Madhya Pradesh since the past four years, to get them justice. “I want the 110 Kumhar families to get justice and rehabilitated. I want the 110 Kumhar families to get justice and rehabilitated. I would like you to help us for the same,” Pawan tells all of us.
Join Pawan’s cause and call Ambaram Patidar, the Rehabilitation Officer in Dhar at +91-9424564476 and demand that the Kumhars are rightfully rehabilitated.
This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Pawan Solanki.
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