Seasonal migration is a phenomenon where an entire rural family is forced to migrate in search of subsistence. Many agro-industrial sectors in our country run largely on migrant labourers. Little Rann of Kutch, a 5000 square kilometer mud desert in western Gujarat, has abundant salt water and as a result people are forced to migrate and engage in salt cultivation. Almost fifteen thousand families are into this occupation.
Salt pan related migration is seasonal & cyclical lasting 6-8 months a year beginning just after monsoon and ending before the pre-monsoon showers. The salt pan is one of the harshest environments to live and work in. The occupants are largely the tribal Agariyas. They migrate as a family and live in makeshift huts made of wood and plastic sheets – completely cut off from fellow tribals and society at large; most of their children being forced to discontinue studies.