Displaced people who move to the cities have to do low class jobs, like dish-washing or toilet cleaning, since very few had been to school. The farming community has been devastated, children do not go to school.
“They have to herd animals, so parents are reluctant to send them to school,” says Dhrub Kumar of the Panchasheel Development Trust which works with displaced communities. “Parents are forced to sell most of the milk from their cows or buffaloes, so the children do not have enough to eat.”
The Uttar Pradesh government’s attempts to relocate the displaced have largely failed due to a lack of understanding of their long-term needs. A decade ago, the government provided land for people in Jogapurwa to construct houses, but the land was too far away from where they farmed. “It’s about 10-15 km from here and the land is just enough to build houses so where do we keep our animals, where do we produce food, how do we survive?” asks Parashnath Kashyap, whose family decided to stay put in the hope that Ghaghara would change course someday and they would get back to their land.
Some people moved to the government provided land, but later they returned to the embankment. “We are all low caste people but the new land was dominated by higher caste people so we were afraid we would be harassed,” says Chandran Bhaal, 56.