THIRUVAMBADY: As Wayanad has gained national prominence in the wake of Rahul Gandhi’s candidature, about 10,000 families of his constituency in the quaint town of Thiruvambady are staring at an uncertain future with their livelihood at stake. Though an Assembly constituency in Kozhikode district, Thiruvambady which is part of Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency is popular for its plantations, mostly owned by large number of Christian migrants from central Kerala.
“Under-productivity of crops, low commodity prices, constant crop losses due to wildlife attacks, coupled with the lack of summer rain this season have left the majority of the strong 1-lakh constituents at the doors of poverty,” says Abraham Mangalath, a first-generation farmer who migrated to the area in the 1950s. Thiruvambady panchayat member Robert NS, attesting to the sad state of affairs, says water bodies upstream are drying up and with most of the houses devoid of piped water connections and wells, people are struggling to find water even for daily usage, let alone for agriculture.
On account of the grave situation, a massive Rs 450-crore potable water scheme, which intends to pump water from the Chaliyar River for supplying to inhabitants at higher altitudes of the region, including Thiruvambady, has been sanctioned, said local MLA George M Thomas.
“Prices of plantation crops like rubber, areca nut, nutmeg, coconut and pepper have been hovering at alarmingly low levels for a while. Adding to the farmers’ woes is a variety of diseases and the lack of summer showers resulting in low productivity,” said Robert.