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For the beginners, it is raining much less in Manipal than it normally does. (You dont believe me for the last couple of days?) Now you might be heaving long sighs as your clothes are not affected by fungus, you and your shoes and your salwar suits or your pants do not get wet when you go to class. The damp walls, the smelling rooms might be amiss or existent on a milder degree this time around. The rain gods have not been pouring bucket full, rather small mug full, this time on.
And it is not good news. For the northern part of the country (at the time the article is written) still reels under heat wave and the famous Meteorological department after having gloriously predicted normal or more than normal rain have their foot in their mouth. But they have been pretty notoriously good at faux pas. Some people even follow what the Met department has to say because then they can reverse their predictions and get the real scenario. It is indeed a sad phenomenon that after such advances in field of technology weather predictions remains lacking in accuracy; not that weather can be predicted with cent percent surety.
Lesser rains might be good news for a student in Manipal, but not for millions of farmers across the country. This is again a sad fact that India, where agricultural economy still is a major chunk (younger generations might not comprehend this fact), depends on rains for good harvest. River linking program initiated by Vajpayee government has remained etched in paper and canal building programs have simply resulted in dry structures of concrete. Awareness among farmers for rain water harvesting or trying new models of farming has just been policy matters in files New Delhi.
Lucky, would be the word, for there have been good rains over the past few years resulting in bumper harvest. Why India still then is home to the largest number of hungry people requires another essay to discuss. These bumper crops have exceeded storage capacity in many a places and has led to the infamous ‘rotting in rain’ in the recent past (more on it in my post next week). Such is the lack of sensitivity of the powers that be, that the honourable Supreme Courts ire on the issue has gone unheeded.
Lack of rains is a serious issue for a country like ours. Rapid urbanisation without farsightedness has resulted in acute water shortage in cities resulting in a burden on the common man. Farmers in rural India having failed crops due to lack of rain resort to drastic measures like suicide. So it is across a broad spectrum that poor rain affects both urban and rural India. Even if we in Manipal are saved the trouble of fungus or taking-forever-to-dry clothes, it is not something to be too happy about.