Rural Bihar bustles with return of migrant workers during Chhath
Patna: Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers are flocking to rural areas of Bihar with the four-day Chhath festival starting on Friday to celebrate with their families, relatives, friends and neighbours.
The festival is also a socio-economic boost, with migrant workers bringing in their hard-earned money to spend on buying essentials, building houses, weddings, education, healthcare and land deals.
“I arrived in the village two days ago to celebrate Chhath. I will invest some money to finish building my house and buy some basic items for the family during my week-long stay,” said Rajendar Rai, a native of Rampur village, Patepur block, district of Vaishali. Newsclick.
“We also buy new clothes, fruits, foodstuffs and other traditional materials from the local market for Chhath, which helps the local economy,” Rai, who works in a garment factory in Tamil Nadu, added.
Another migrant worker, Suresh Kushwaha, who has returned to his village Bajidpur, Bochaha block, Muzaffarpur district, will soon admit his wife to a private nursing home for uterine surgery. “I saved money for the operation and to buy a big tin box and an almirah for my daughter,” said Kushwaha, who works at a cement factory in Gujarat.
Furqan Khan, head of Purhara Panchayat, in Haspura block, Aurangabad district, said there was a festive atmosphere in the villages after the arrival of the migrant workers. “Their presence has made the villages alive.”
Kamlesh Yadav, a native of Sonwan village, Ghosi block, Jehanabad district, has saved Rs 30,000 to buy a cow. “It will provide milk and be a source of income for my family. I wanted a source of income for my family after I left the first week of November.
Yadav, who works as a bricklayer in Delhi, said he “would love to stay here but there is no opportunity to work and earn”.
Mahesh Prasad, a businessman in Haspura Bazar, a block level town, said Newsclick that the arrival of migrant workers increases the demand for everything. “Businessmen, traders and traders await their arrival during Chhath as they spend a lot and boost the local economy.”
Prasad, owner of a clothing store, said good roads, electricity supply and internet have completely changed the way of life for migrant worker families. “Now they buy gadgets, bikes and other items.”
According to Guddu Singh, a trader from Masaurhi Bazar, a town in Patna district, “Over the past three to four days, the demand for goods has increased.
According to officials at the East Central Railway headquarters in Hajipur, thousands of passengers from across the country arrive in over 200 trains every day to celebrate Chhath.
“All trains from Surat, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kochi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Goa and other places are packed,” a railway official said. .
A senior police officer said nearly two million migrant workers had already arrived in the past week. “Hundreds of migrant workers will arrive until Saturday to take part in Argya, the main ritual of Chhath, when fasting devotees stand waist-deep in water to offer prayers to the setting and rising sun on the banks. rivers and other bodies of water.
According to various estimates, more than one million migrants from Bihar work permanently abroad. In addition, thousands of them are employed as seasonal migrants. While the majority of migrants work on farms, factories, and construction and infrastructure sites, many are also skilled professionals.