Sanjay Kumar Saroj is a 19-year-old resident of Rasulpur village in Gram Panchayat of Jaunpur block, Machil Shahar, Uttar Pradesh. He belongs to the ‘Pasi’ community and has a family of seven to look after. Due to financial strains in the family, they could not perform farming activities on their small landholding. Working as a daily-waged labourer in the nearby areas for about 3000-4000 rupees per month, he was barely able to sustain his family.
He shares his experiences of discrimination and difficulties due to belonging from the lower strata. “The people of marginalised sections of the society are very poor, have unequal access to resources and are exploited.” Lack of sufficient livelihood opportunities, discrimination and exploitation had compelled him to migrate outside. Working as a welder in Ahmedabad, he could earn around 8000 rupees per month that helped in sustaining his family.
With the sudden imposition of lockdown, all the work in Ahmedabad was shut down and it became very arduous for him to make his ends meet. Due to financial instability, he decided to go back home, covering the journey on foot in 10 days. “I was very confused and uncertain about the future. But with the help and support of CASA and CAID I have ability to provide for my family.”
Sanjay Kumar Saroj received the aid of the seed support programme, an initiative of CASA for migrant families who had returned to their native villages but were facing financial problems due to the ongoing pandemic and were provided with seeds and fertilizers. CASA, in collaboration with CAID, also provided dry ration and WASH kits. The urgent aid and assistance helped him to generate income for his family and ensure food security for the coming days. With association to this programme, he is also educated about various government welfare schemes and gets opportunity to avail the benefits. This has helped him fulfill the basic requirements of his family amidst this crisis.
CASA has helped Sanjay look forward to a promising future, and a hope to live a dignified life with stability.
-written by Shivansh Anand, Intern, Communications
-edited by Pankhuri, Communications Associate