The year 2019, is the 100th anniversary of the Jalianwala Bagh Massacre that shook the consciousness of the entire nation. As the veteran journalist and Magsaysay award winner, P Sainath puts it, "Our spirit did not break, their empire did."
As the celebrations of Indian Independence from the British Raj winds up, it is time for us to retrospect on the current water crisis in India. Since India attracted waves of invasions due to its abundance primarily due to its ever-flowing rivers, the same rivers are now increasingly the source of worry.
On the one hand, parts of India are under heavy rainfall and floods, while the rest of India is still monsoon deficient.
As Sainath, aptly covers in his other article, It's raining sand in Rayalseema, these arid wilderness scenes are not from the great Indian desert of Rajasthan or the Bollywood immortalized wild wild Chambal Ghati. But from one of the most prosperous regions of ancient India.
As predicted by climate scientists, the coastal cities of Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and other coastal cities will face a catastrophic reversal in their economy, as early as 2050.
"According to a World Bank report, about 600 million Indians could suffer high to extreme water stress by 2050. What could make matters worse is the possibility of a 200-fold increase in heatwave exposure by 2100. The frequency of severe heat waves in India could see a 75-fold increase by 2100. If temperatures continue to rise and monsoon rainfall patterns continue to change, the country could see a GDP loss of 2.8 percent, depressing the living standards of nearly half its population by 2050." -- Source, DownToEarth.in
To read complete report and charts, please press "Start Exploring" on the following link https://www.downtoearth.org.in/dte-infographics/61502_extreme_anomaly_india.html
The following infographics from Association for India's Development (AID volunteers explain that Destruction of the forest is one of the biggest contributing factors towards floods and desertification of India.
Due to deforestation, the water retention capacities of the soil has been adversely affected. Once, the mighty forests of Western India would hold adequate water to ebb the flow of rivers and support the perenniality of these rivers.
In my January 2019 visit to India, one of the forest conservationist in Pune, Mrs. Jayashree Jog mentioned that the mighty forest of Western India was destroyed to convert wood to charcoal to support industries in India.
Whose Independence is it anyway when the backbone of the economy is based on the environmental destruction?
This is one of the biggest challenges that humanity will face is the supply of clean water.
AID and many rights organization are working by 3 prong approach towards reversing the effect of Climate change
- watershed development and reforestation
- supporting the rights of the indigenous and forest-dwelling people
- and supporting sustainable agriculture
Payvihir Ecovillage is a project that is fulfilling all these approaches at one single location. With your support, Center For Sustainable Agriculture (CSA), approached the village post forest fire disaster. You can see volunteers and villagers taking using advance Geolocation technologies to plant a forest in the area. We are planning to recreate the forest by planting 11,500 trees this year. The survival rate is high when the forest is protected by the tribals. That reaffirms our claim that tribals and native population are an important participant in saving the planet.