A visit to local island Vaikaradhoo.

Vaikaradhoo is an island situated at Haadhaalu Atoll, North Maldives. It’s described as a bigger island, which is true when compared with many other islands in the Maldives. Vaikaradhoo is an agricultural island with a small population. A large number of “Vaikaradhuan’s” have been migrating to Male’, the capital city over the years. The trend hasn’t stopped, as the families with younger children moved to Male’ and urban areas near Male to find employment and to educate their children. The few people who live in Vaikaradhoo now are mostly older generation and families who had stayed back for the time being, sending their children to the island school. We visited the island in early January 2012, just before the new academic year was about to begin. At that time, four families with lovely homes and gardens abandon their houses, packed everything they possibly can and depart to Male’ to start a new life. A new life that they would probably be spent in a very cramped ‘apartment,’ paying an unbelievably high rent. The children who were used to explore and enjoy the vast open space without any fear would be “caged in,” in the tiny living space the family share for their survival. The parents we spoke said the sacrifice they were making is to make their children educate and give them a better future. I felt the psychological and social implications were overlooked. Elderly people in the island kept themselves busy planting vegetables and fruits in small plots of land they owned or assigned to them. Small-scale farming in the island keeps them busy and provides them with fresh fruit and vegetables for their consumption. As they do not have a good population within the island to sell their products on the island, nor do they have a proper transport and distribution system to send their crops to more populated islands. According to some farmers, the only choice left for them is to take their products to the nearby island, Kulhudhuffushi and sell it without the market price.

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