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1-min read

A Thought for the Drought: How the Problem is Rotting Rural Areas Dry

This might eventually lead to a disproportion in the population, as well as a drastic decrease in the crop/grain manufacturing capabilities of the country.

Updated:December 18, 2019, 5:11 PM IST
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A Thought for the Drought: How the Problem is Rotting Rural Areas Dry
This might eventually lead to a disproportion in the population, as well as a drastic decrease in the crop/grain manufacturing capabilities of the country.

According to a report funded by the government, around 600 million people in India are facing an acute water shortage. In the past 25 years, over 3,00,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide due to droughts and severe water shortage.

While India may have made strides in other areas, it continues to lag behind in one key aspect that brings the society together; equal distribution of water. There is a huge disparity in the way urban areas and rural areas gain access to water that is clean and treated. While droughts and meagre rains do impact the urban India, their effects on the rural areas are manifolds.

A lack of rains is the start of the problem. The meagre allowance of 20 litres per person per day with water tankers is also overshadowed by the irregular frequency of the tankers in the first place. Among other states, Maharashtra faces one of the worst effects of the water crisis. To deal with the shortage of water, around 6000 tankers provide water to 15,000 villages every single day. Of that, many take days to arrive and many don’t turn up, although it is a government mandate to provide water tankers to affected villages every day.

Out of these, only some are free tankers provided by the government, and the rest are private-owned businesses. And as happens in the time of need, businesses rush to take advantage. The cost of buying water from these private tankers is way too much for a villager who has no other source of income than agriculture for which he needs water in the first place.

This, in turn, has repercussions which if we don’t take care of now, will have far reaching effects. Due to lack of water and farming opportunities, several farmers are quitting their livelihood and moving to cities for menial labour. This might eventually lead to a disproportion in the population, as well as a drastic decrease in the crop/grain manufacturing capabilities of the country.

It is worth thinking how the water crisis is directly linked to the economy of the country and the very foundation of our societal structure. We must make amends when we still can. Take a look at the Harpic News18 Mission Paani initiative, a huge platform which is creating awareness around the crisis. Register and do your bit. We could all use some help!

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