This essay is about droughts, its adverse effect and factors responsible for such condition.
Drought takes place as a result of failure of rains or inadequate rains. Although India is placed very favorably so far as rainfall is concerned; there being two monsoons in a near in summer and winter, vast areas in the country remains almost perpetually rain deficit.
Current spell of drought:
In this year, many states have suffered from severe drought. Most affected states are Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. The tracts falling under these states have suffered very badly due to severe scarcity of rain. Besides the regions facing recurrent droughts almost the entire country is prone to rain deficient conditions in varying degrees from year to year.
It has been observed that states such as West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh which generally receive good rainfall may face drought conditions every 4th, 5th 6th or 7th year. Other states may also be hit by adverse effects of rain failure.
The failure of summer monsoon has brought the country under severe grip of unprecedented drought. The production of Kharif crops affected is jawar, pulses, bajra, soybean and groundnut. According to unofficial sources nearly 250 districts were affected by drought which was likely to be of such magnitude that might have long-term adverse effect on the entire national economy.
Hardship to human beings and cattle:
Failure of monsoon led to problems of no water, no power, no crop, no food, and no fodder. The country was faced with a calamity. Though the famine did not loom large due to buffer stocks of food grains for human consumption, the spectra of scarcity of fodder haunted the livestock. The drought and resultant hardship to human beings and cattle was regrettable with highly developed technology in irrigation and water management available to the country from its own sources. The scarcity of water led the apprehension of cattle perishing by their thousands in vulnerable areas since migration to more favorable areas is almost ruled out. The situation led to reduction in milk yield. There shortage of fodder and hence distress sale of animals. The situation is certainly alarming.
Factors responsible for such condition:
(i) Major distortions in the rainfall patterns; (ii) indiscriminate cutting of trees and large scale of deforestation; (iii) massive soil erosion.
To meet the challenge the following steps, may be taken (i) adequate supply of drinking water and fodder ensured; (ii) imports of non-essential should be stopped; (iii) relief work started; (iv) public distribution system streamlined and continuously monitored.