Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Mhaswad is that little dot slightly west of the Solapur border (click on the pic for a larger image, also on the map its spelled "Mhasvad"). I tried to Google Earth it and all I got was some blurriness (I guess I'm in for a treat!). It is located in the Satara District, within the state of Maharashtra. Maharashtra is also home to two of India's biggest cities--Mumbai (Bombay) and Pune. I will be a good 6 hour bus ride from both of those places it sounds like.
From MannDeshi.org, I found this description:
"Our area has always faced the problem of emigration, particularly among male farmers. An annual rainfall of only 5 inches has slowed local agriculture (GDP growth in this area is less than 4% annually), driving many into urban centers in search of work. Consequently, nearly 50% of students leave school before the 10th standard in search of service sector jobs. Early in life, women become primary caregivers in the household and are forced out of schooling - for local women, the illiteracy rate is as high as 65%. Many who remain in the area are those who have no opportunities elsewhere, thus, the area is primarily comprised of scheduled caste, backward caste, and OBC members of whom over 75% are below the poverty line."
When I get there, I will have more to say about the local environment and the people there. I think that for now, this is the best introduction to life in Mhaswad I can find.
Posted by Son at 9:00 PM