Kashmiris pitch tent in city to avoid winter | india | Hindustan Times
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Kashmiris pitch tent in city to avoid winter

They may look like just another row of shanties, but the tents pitched along a water pipeline opposite the Bandra terminus are actually the winter homes of migrants from Jammu & Kashmir.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2012 00:58 IST
Nikhil Ghanekar

They may look like just another row of shanties, but the tents pitched along a water pipeline opposite the Bandra terminus are actually the winter homes of migrants from Jammu & Kashmir.

Driven here by the extreme temperatures, erratic power supply and lack of essential supplies in their home state, entire families pack up and move to warmer cities — mainly Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai — every December, returning home in early March.

“This year, the snow has been really heavy and has crippled life in our village,” said Shagird Shah (name changed), who left his apple orchards in Budgam district and moved to Mumbai with his wife and four children in December.

Currently, about 400 migrants live in the row of tents opposite Bandra Terminus and near a burial ground not far away — a number that has risen from 207 the previous year. While the women tend to their temporary homes, most of the men look for odd jobs as labourers at local markets.

Shah works as a loader at the Kherwadi vegetable market, earning about Rs 200 on a good day. The migrants also beg and collect donations in grain.