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The Thirst of Drought

Posted on: 06-07-2017

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“We don’t know how we are surviving and how long we will survive”, said Phoolchand with his voice dripping with resignation. Bundelkhand Region, covering a part of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh missed 3 seasons of monsoons and all around there are endless eerily empty fields. Lakes, rivers and wells have dried up. Unchecked exploitation of ground water is playing havoc with the environment. Trees are dead. Occasional arrival of a water-tanker in a village leads to a mad scramble. Agile children climb atop the tanker to insert the pipeline of their family. Anxious mothers wait below at the other end of the pipe, inserted into water vessels for much needed basic requirement of life. The other side of this horror is that there is no vegetation and without food and water, thousands of cattle are dying. The countryside smells of rotting flesh and is sculptured by animal bones. Children have stopped going to schools, instead they are going about looking for water. The bone-dry, craggy and cracked carcasses of waterbodies like lakes, tanks, canals and even rivers are strewn all over. Waterbodies which gave life sustaining water are now themselves lifeless. Wells have dried up and the deeper people bore into the earth, the further the water level recedes. Unchecked exploitation of ground water is playing havoc with the environment. Trees are dying as their roots are unable to win their quest for water. Despair and angst are the currency with which people transact drought. 

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