DROUGHT: A litmus test for Watershed Development

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Droughts are difficult to see. Unlike earthquakes and tsunamis where thousands come running to help, and funds pour in from all quarters, drought is rarely seen as an emergency. They are an emergency and effect man and animal alike. The 2013 drought in Maharashtra came about after the region received lower rainfall during the monsoon season June to September 2012. It is considered as the region’s worst drought in 40 years. The worst-hit areas in Maharashtra are Solapur, Ahmednagar, Sangli, Pune, Satara, Beed and Nashik.

Residents of Latur, Osmanabad, Nanded, Aurangabad, Jalna, Jalgaon and Dhule districts are also affected by this famine. The drought in Maharashtra gripped bit by bit every day leaving villages thirsting for water and just plain hungry for food. People who could migrate, men and anyone with the ability to scrape a living left, leaving those behind who cannot afford to leave: leaving the young, old, and the disabled behind and the women in the families looking after them. The burden of survival falling squarely on them.

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