The crucial highlights on sugarcane cutters in Maharashtra: Unorganized seasonal migrant laborers
Background: Sugarcane cutters in Maharashtra are the seasonal migrants who migrate from the drought prone area to sugar belt of Maharashtra. Most of the time people from poor economic status, lower castes and illiterate or with low education levels are involved in this occupation and consequently are involved in the seasonal migration. Methods: an exploratory study conducted by taking in depth interviews of 20 women sugarcane cutters, informal talks with Mukadum’s (team leaders) wives and observations made during the sugarcane harvesting season 2019 Results: as per the existing push-pull factors theory of migration, the drought conditions and consequences of it at the native places are the push factors and work availability at the sugar belt is the pull factor for seasonal migration of sugar cane cutters. Despite having the entire work burden beyond their physical limits and living in the miserable circumstances, these workers are the victims of exploitation by many ways. Due to their migration status they are thrown off from accessing state resources and services and hence their citizenship status is at stake. More importantly, these workers are not directly associated with the sugar factories therefore are liable to get exploited by the meddlers like Mukadum and contractors. Conclusion: The exploitation of sugarcane cutters by the meddlers like Mukadum, Contractor, vehicle owner, and ultimately sugar factories is prevalent. The sufferings of these workers in terms of livelihoods, health, and education are sharply visible and could be understood by considering the socio-ecological circumstances under which their livelihoods are laid. Therefore, labor issues of sugarcane cutters are needed to be solved by taking concerted endeavors at the policy level.
Saroj Shinde. The crucial highlights on sugarcane cutters in Maharashtra: Unorganized seasonal migrant laborers. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Research, Volume 6, Issue 1, 2020, Pages 71-74