Migration has become a huge concern in the state especially in Pauri district which is worst hit with 341 villages almost uninhabited and 2303 villages having population below 200.
A group of intellectuals and social workers from all over the state along with some of the young minds, who have already migrated out of the state to big cities in search of greener pastures, got together to discuss this vital issue of migration in the hills at a workshop called Palayan ek Chintan (discussion on migration) in Pauri.
Most participants were from the villages who shared their experience of surviving and even thriving there despite extensive urbanisation.
Young people like Mayank and Nidhi Aswal, who have already migrated to Delhi, shared their concern for their ancestral village and expressed their desire to stay connected with their roots.
Laxmi Rawat and her team from Delhi performed a very touching skit depicting the loneliness and struggle of the old parents who are left alone in the villages to grapple with the problems of life.
The two-day open discussion on extensive migration from the hills of Uttarakhand, chaired by Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal and former Almora MP Pradeep Tamta, concluded at Pauri on Sunday.
Ratan Aswal, the organiser of the workshop, said the whole idea behind the migration issue began as a campaign on social media and soon people from all over India and even abroad started connecting with it. It was then decided to discuss the burning issue on one platform.
The basic problems that impel the natives to leave their homesteads were discussed widely along with the suggestions to check the growing disenchantment with the village life, said Ratan, adding a report would also be submitted to the government for remedial actions.
Tamta said agriculture had been the main source of livelihood in the villages for ages but the gradual disenchantment with it triggered the migration. He feels revival of agriculture would play a key role in curtailing the exodus and bringing the people back to their native land. The government is in a process to bring an act on Chakbandi (land consolidation), which would be effective in bringing the greenery back to our villages, he added.
Kunjwal said the government would welcome suggestions to breathe life into the villages.