As Sanand has become an auto industry hub in Gujarat, most of the farmers who owned land and were involved in agriculture, had to sell their land to Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation [GIDC]. Those farmers and the middlemen became rich overnight. Farmers who received huge amount of lump sum took them in large bags and went to the bank to deposit.
Majority of the farmers were illiterate and needed help from someone else for creating bank accounts, processing transactions etc. Farmers who lost their sole livelihood had to find other ways of engagements. Many started small shops that sells pan, tobacco products, some started mobile repairing shops but majority went on superfluous living as they were getting enough interest from their savings. Majority of the men are sitting idle at home.

Read more: Village Life in India - Why Gujarat Local Governance Fails?

major drought in India
Major drought in India

"Our village has been facing major drought over so many years. We don’t get clean drinking water. We are getting water from a nearby bore well that is 2 KM away from home. The water from bore well is available till March end. After that the well get dried up and we had to bring tankers to get water. 3 – 4 years back we used to get water even in April. But now days it is very hard to get water. I had to carry the water in my head all the way from bore well. My 9 year old daughter also helps me in carrying water. - Jagruti Ben, Telav Village."

"I was living in Sanand for 22 years. I have lost my husband and have a daughter. My ancestors were also lived and died there. The only asset we had was five bighas [0.8 hectare] of land in Sanand village where we did paddy and other crops for daily bread. One day Government issued a notice to sell the land to them. We went and asked the officers about the details. They told us that Tata Nano plant is coming to Sanand. The land will be given to Tata Motors plant. They said I will get good money. The bigger landlords had to sell only a portion of their lands. The irrigation channel to my fields came only through those lands. Even if I had retained my land, there would have been no way to get water. The upper-caste men in the village were the main brokers for the government. They forced all of us to sell our lands. I got money but I did not want to sell it” - Chakuba Ben, Sanand."

Read More: Life in India: Case Study of villages Sanand, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

"I was living in Sanand and currently living in Viramgam. I sold about 12 bighas of land to Tata Motors. I got good money for it and I did not want to sell it. Now I am selling belts in Ahmedabad for livelihood. I do not have any interest in doing this but I have to do something, right?. I sell 4-5 belts per day and earn approximately Rs. 500 per day. That’s enough for me and wife. - Rajesh bhai"

If we categorize people, who were living in Sanand and nearby areas as,

  • People who had large share of land
  • People who had small share of land
  • People who had no land

The first category sold some of the portions and received huge sum of money above the market value. Rest of the land is used for farming and able to cultivate. The second category had to sell their land completely and had to move out from their land to other places and find out other options of livelihood. Third category was either daily laborers or who did not have patta for the land they are residing.

The major issues as said by villagers were influence of bigger landlords over smaller ones to sell their land, the compulsion from Government, the higher price for the land offered by the government, intrusion of upper caste men who were acting as brokers of government, etc.

People who had small share of land had to move out from their land and find livelihood and home somewhere else. The social and psychological impacts of such displacements need to be studied more deeply.

Read More: Ahmedabad, Gujarat State, India Development Model in the Last 10 years

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