Mahatma Gandhi began a Salt March to break the Salt laws set by Britishers in 1930. Now, nearly seventy five years after the laws were broken; there is a community in India which has been toiling away tirelessly in salt fields to fulfill India’s salt needs.
The Agariya community is the poorest community of India, living in the Rann of Kutch at Gujarat and takes care of nearly 75% of the country’s salt demands. The salt workers, unfortunately, face problems like abnormally thin legs which become so stiff that even after death they do not burn in funeral pyre. The continuous exposure to saturated salt and extreme weather conditions burn their skin. And, for all the work that they do, the workers earn a measly Rs.60 per ton.
Their children don’t go to school. The community surviving on only one profession, one literally ‘killing’ source of income and that too for people in India who don’t know or care for their existence. These heroes, these workers are cremated in the salt fields as their stiff bones cannot be burnt in the funeral pyre. These workers, live, work, earn and die in the salt.