Updated: May 1, 2018 4:54:03 pm
Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are some of the major salt producing states in India. There are primarily three districts in Tamil Nadu which manufacture salt: Marakkanam, Tuticorin and Nagapattinam.
The salt pan workers work under extremely hazardous conditions. They have employment for about six months in a year.
Their daily wages vary from Rs 200-300. Women generally get lower wages than the menfolk. It is estimated that around 3,000 workers work in Marakkanam itself.
Poverty and deprivation are common to all the salt workers. Women suffer from serious problems with malnutrition and anemia being very common. They don’t have a support system to take care of their children.
The workers hardly have access to medical care. The activities are divided in three phases: initial ground preparation, salt making and storing and the final stage is in the rainy season when there is enough salt in the ground.
The workers start their work by 4 in the morning and go back only by 12 or 1 in the afternoon. The harvest season runs from January to May every year. In early January, harvesting can’t take place unless the water is dried out.
Once the water is dried out, the workers collect salt in small heaps along the grids of the pans and then in big pounds of salts. If needed, water can be added to the heaps. No work can take place at the time of rains.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.