Drought-hit farmers sell crackers in Pune

Hundreds of people affected by drought in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra, including farmers and students, are working at firecracker stalls in Pune city during Diwali.
An estimated 3,000 people have found jobs at these temporary outlets set up across the city during the festive season, an association of firecracker stalls here has claimed.
Maharashtra witnessed a deficient monsoon this year following which the state government declared drought in 151 talukas in 26 of the 36 districts of the state.
“But this year, since the situation is bad out there (in Marathwada), over 3,000 people, including students, farmers and agri-workers, have come to Pune and are working at various firecracker stalls,” he claimed.
Akash Kamble, a native of Sindala village in Latur district of Marathwada, said his father committed suicide three years ago after being unable to bear his debt burden.
Since then, Kamble has been coming to Pune during the festive season to work at firecracker shops and earn some money to take care of his mother and sister.
But poor rain and lack of work opportunities have become a norm in our village.
That’s why I have been coming to Pune during Diwali to find work,” the 22-year-old said.
Sonkamble, 25, who has been coming to the city for work since the past four-five years, said he hoped to earn around Rs 15,000 by the end of the festive season.
This will help them if they plan to start their own business later,” Khanchandani said.

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