Circle Of Blue | By: Keith Schneider | GPE – February 01, 2018:
Water scarcity forces millions of people off of farms and into teeming cities.
Originally published June 02, 2016: The latest national drought assessment shows that 19 of the 36 states and territories in India are experiencing moisture deficits of at least 50 percent when compared to normal years of rainfall.
On Monday, as it’s been for weeks now, hundreds of farmers from mountainous Bundelkhand, a drought-ravaged region of north central India, climbed down from the Mahakaushal Express and headed for the highway underpasses near Delhi’s Nizamuddin railway station.
They are refugees from an agricultural area that straddles Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, two states that have been tormented by India’s two-year dry spell that is killing crops, shutting down power plants, escalating joblessness and putting increasing pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his aides.
“This year has been the worst,” Gahna Devi, a 55-year-old grower told a reporter from the Times of India. She said her village, with 2,000 residents, is deserted as farmers and their families leave to find work, most of them as laborers living on the streets in Delhi. “Only 100, mostly the ill and the aged, are still in their homes,” she reckoned.
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