"Masaan" fame director Neeraj Ghaywan has appealed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to focus attention on the prevailing drought conditions in several areas of Maharashtra including Latur, Beed and Mumbai.
The director took the digital route to make his appeal.
His tweet read: “Dear sir, Devendra Fadnavis, my account of the drought-hit Marathwada migrants living in Mumbai needs your attention!.”
He also shared a number of photographs to highlight the plight of the migrants staying in Mumbai.
His Facebook post read: “These pictures might seem like they are from Latur or Beed or any of the drought affected areas. But, this is in Bombay (now Mumbai). Yes, in your neighbourhood. When I read the post shared by Anurag Kashyap (original post by Rahul Narvekar) on migrant farmers in Ghatkopar, I wanted to go there and see for myself.”
He added: “My friend, Randeep Kumar Jha and I went there to witness a harrowing view of migration and what this water crisis is doing to people. Most of them are from Nanded and Latur. There were mostly women when we were there. Men had gone out to find labour work.”
The director also shared how the people are reeling with issues of “lack of water, food or no great prospect to earn a living” along with poor sanitation conditions.
He said: “One man I met said he didn’t need anything but all he needs is a place to stay. He has been coming here to stay for the past 10 years. He said he couldn’t live like this. There is enough food to last for two-three days but the heat is unbearable. He points me to a pig nearby and says 'I am scared that pig will harm my baby in the night. We have no roof or walls'.”
In the emotional post, Ghaywan shared his experience after talking to migrants, and also shared there was a shack by an NGO (non-government organisation).
The situation raised many questions like “If they do this every year why can’t the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ) arrange makeshift tent around the place? Something like a tarpaulin shamiaana (Like Delhi’s Rain Basera) to protect them from the hot sun? Why can’t the government give them better conditions to live? What else can be done? Why did the NGO have political banners?”
Ghaywan added: “They need a roof on their heads to protect from the scorching sun; some make shift rooms, proper sanitation, water, food, and better employment opportunities that they can avail. Applauding countries welcoming Syrian refugees is great but these right here, are our own people, asking us for shelter and a living.”