Solar Lamps

Solar Lamps for Agariya Community

Salt production is a labour intensive industry and more than 2 lakh workers engaged (production and loading-unloading) in this work belong to economically and socially backward classes. They mostly belong to Nomadic and De-notified Tribes (Nt-DNTs- but merged with bakshipanch catagory) (75%), Schedule caste (10%), Schedule Tribes (10%) and others backward communities (5%). 

The primary producers of the salt are these labourers who work for eight to ten months in a year in salt pans- these are “Agariyas” Their socio-economic condition is very poor and contractors, salt traders and their middlemen exploit them heavily. It is even worse in case of Inland salt manufacturing to which this proposal refers. Agariya of inland salt pan manufacturing work in desert and remain completely isolated from the outside world for eight to ten months.  Saltpan workers are the most unorganized section of labourers and are not covered under any security schemes. The problems of Agaria are intensive and severe, since both Government and Non-Government efforts have been ad hoc, sporadic and ineffective, There has been continuous demand from NGOs and Agariya community for their rights leading to evolvement of some schemes and welfare measures in the interest of the community.

Mud, dust in little Rann of Kutch is very saline. Solar lamps given by one of NGO earlier didn’t work for many days, and gave heavy maintenance cost. During consultation this issue came up. We did short survey and study of all types of solar lanterns/lamps that are in the market. We also communicated this many of our friends. Dr. Almitra Patel, on of our supporters linked us to Thrive Energy – an organization which makes solar lanterns to be used in adverse environment.