India's Rural Crisis - 21 "A truck carries away the excavated dirt from the bed of the Madan Sagar lake in Mahoba, Bundelkhand, where it once stretched across 75 acres and served the local population in better days. But now, it was totally dry; large digging machines are at work 24 hours a day, clearing the lakebed. The silt deposited there must be removed before the rains came.
“It acts like polyethylene, preventing any water from seeping through,” explained Rajendra Nigam, who worked for a small nonprofit in drought-hit areas near here. Hundreds of dump trucks moved in and out of the lakebed, leaving behind a trail of thick, swirling dust." As the agrarian economy collapses in India, millions have migrated from regions like Bundelkhand to distant cities in search of work. Fleeing famine-like conditions and drought, they pack into train compartments and standing-room-only buses that crawl out of the dust toward the promise, however faint, of regular work somewhere else.
India is witnessing an unprecedented farmland crisis over the last few years. And as Inequality touches new heights in India, an #Oxfamreport published recently found "73 percent of the wealth generated last year went to the richest one percent, while 67 crore Indians who comprise the poorest half of the population saw one percent increase in their wealth." Two years ago, I started a project which first looked at a huge swathe of a region in central India called "Bundelkhand" an area of over 27,000 square miles across the states Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. It is one of India’s poorest areas, populated mostly by poverty-stricken farmers living in rudimentary villages. That year an intense drought affected a staggering 330 million people nationwide.
Image Copyright © Vivek Singh / The Far Valley
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