March 11, 2014
- Congress Vice President, Mr. Rahul Gandhi meets Salt Pan Workers of the Little Rann of Kutch region
- Agariyas share their challenges and concerns with Mr. Rahul Gandhi
- Development must include everyone, says Mr. Rahul Gandhi
Congress Vice President Mr. Rahul Gandhi on a day long visit to Gujarat held an open discussion with members of the Agariya community who work in the salt pans in the Little Rann of Kutch region. their concerns with Mr. Gandhi members of the community spoke to him about the extremely harshworking conditions they face and the lack of access to basic facilities like healthcare, educationand drinking water. They also pointed out the difficulty they faced in establishing title rightsto the land where they have been living for generations. Before the meeting, Mr. Gandhi visitedthe house of one of the community members and interacted with the family.
“Development isnot just limited to building roads and bridges. Till the time we don’t provide a firm floor and a strongroof for the people, building roads will not benefit them. A basic minimum right has to be givento every Indian. To me, development must include every Indian…I cannot change your life in 10days and I will be lying if I said so. But I promise I will work towards addressing your problems,”said Mr. Gandhi.
Gujarat accounts for close to 75 per cent of the total salt produced in thecountry. Bulk of which is produced in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK). There are about 100,000 saltpan workers from the Agariya community in the state who have been producing salt forgenerations but still do not have access to basic facilities and titles to their land.