Gundulpet (Karnataka): In the flowery fields of Gundulpet along the Kerala-Karnataka, there’s a new buzz these days: the Malayalees are coming.
Gundulpet's fertile land is now attracting dozens of farmers from Kerala's Wayanad district. Over a 100 families have already settled here and are involved in horticulture.
“Land is so cheap here and there is no scarcity of water also. Land here is as cheap as Rs 6000 for an acre on lease. If you are buying you will get an acre for Rs 50000. For Waynad's farmers who are struggling to make ends meet, this is a huge attraction,” said a Malyalee farmer Vasu.
Wayanad had been declared as a disaster-hit district recently, following a spate of farmer suicides.
Many of these farmers left Wayanad facing poverty. But their arrival also comes as a big relief for the Kannadiga workers who were struggling to make ends meet on meagre wages.
They say their wages have doubled after the arrival of the immigrants.
“There are a lot of Malyalees coming across for cultivation. In fact their coming is surely going to help people like us who use to get very low wages. Tamilians used to come earlier. But the wages remained the same,” said a Kannadiga farmer Swamy.
The flowers cultivated in these farms also bring in more revenue for the village. No wonder then, that the sense of camaraderie is quite evident.
Perhaps the only other time that Malaylees crossed the borders to this part of Karnataka was to satisfy the likes of Mohanlal and Mamootty for film shooting.
Now it remains to be seen whether this new found bhai-chara between the Kannadigas and Malayalees will last for a longer time or not.