Maha to start 82 hostels for kids of migrant sugarcane workers

The Maharashtra government has decided to provide 82 permanent residential accommodations for the children of the migrant sugarcane workers in the state under the Sant Bhagwan Baba Government Hostel Scheme.

The decision was taken at the state cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, said Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde.

In the first phase, 10 separate hostels each for boys and girls shall be started from the current academic year in Beed, Ahmednagar, Jalna, Nanded, Parbhani, Osmanabad, Latur, Aurangabad, Nashik, and Jalgaon.

These shall be launched in rented buildings with a capacity of 100 each, providing free lodging and boarding to the children, since the construction of new hostels will take time, said the minister.

The scheme had been approved by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in September 2019, but languished and Munde had revived it now, terming as “a true tribute to the memory of the late Union Minister Gopinath Munde”, who was his uncle.

Munde said that there are 232 sugar factories in Maharashtra which employ over 800,000 workers, both men and women as sugarcane cutters.

However, a majority of them have an uncertain nomadic life, migrating to different places for a living in sugarcane fields, which drastically affects the education, increases the dropout rate and the future prospects of their young children who are forced to travel along with their parents.