Now, its not Bengalis but Tamil people who engage in paddy field work
Karalam: Men and women from Tamil Nadu are now being engaged to do works in Kerala’s famous kole lands of Thrissur. Previously, it was Bengalis who had dominated the paddyfields of the district but of late Tamilians have taken control.
A group of people from Tamil Nadu have reached Thrissur to engage themselves in works in paddy fields covering an area of 300 acres owned by the Chemmanda Kayal Kadumkrishi Sahakarana Sangam coming under the Karalam panchayat for a period of 2 years. Two teams from Tamil Nadu comprising 12 women and 6 men have reached the place and families are also there. They have come from a place called Vridachalam near Salem. Thodupulli Sathyamangalam brought the Tamilians here for agriculture work.
Sathyan said though Bengalis were working for the past 3 years, the Tamilians seems to be more quick and efficient in sowing and harvesting paddy. Sathyan came to know about the group from his children staying in Malappuram. Even in Malappuram district, more Tamil people are taken for work in paddy fields. 18 people were brought from Tamil Nadu for the work and another group too accompanied them. Sathyan was employed overseas a few years back and quit to involve himself in agri-related works in his home town.
Sathyan was involved in farming work in his 16 acres of land which lies adjacent to his 4 acres of paddy land. Harvesting is done by men from TN and women are also engaged. He had entered into a contract to sow saplings and for harvesting for 18 people at the rate of Rs 4000 for an acre. Harvesting is done by these group very quickly and no rain or shine affects them. Rice soup (kanji) in the morning, lunch in the afternoon and evening tea and snacks are offered to them at the work place. Night stay and dinner are the only things they need to look into.
Lack of job opportunities is the main reason behind these people moving to Kerala. They used to engage in paddy, sugarcane farming there and even after the work gets over here, they don’t intend to get back their home land.