19 September, 2020

Passing The Bucket

Alleviating the suffering of the drought-stricken gets caught up in ugly Centre-state tussles

Passing The Bucket
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Fodder lies in government stores a few kilometres away, but cattle waste away as it can’t be released without permission. Women and men are consigned to day-long labour in the scorching heat at the edge of the Thar in Pokhran, and consider themselves lucky if they get even half the minimum daily wage (Rs 60). In Saurashtra, a water-tank casts its shadow on a village but has no water to dispense; it hasn’t had any since the government built it four years ago. The women of Mahboobnagar in Andhra have taken to smashing their empty pots on the ground in frustration and protest since those elected on promises of providing plenty can’t even provide enough water to wet the parched throats of their children.

The tales are the same everywhere. Of Khem Singh of Sanawada, Pokhran, who worked in temperatures of 45 degrees for 10 days and was given Rs 140 by the contractor as his dues. That’s Rs 14 a day to buy food and water for himself and his family. Of Dudu’s Phool Devi who toils for hours to feed her nine children. Of the thousands of women across Rajasthan...

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