Drought-hit Bundelkhand drenched in early rains

June 17th, 2008 - 6:47 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

Banda (Uttar Pradesh), June 17 (IANS) The parched lands of the Bundelkhand region in south-east Uttar Pradesh, which have for the past five years been given the slip by monsoon clouds, are now drenched after good early rains. The six districts of Bundelkhand, till recently the hotbed of politics with the Bahujan Samaj Party and other parties trading charges for ignoring the drought there, have received providential help with over 1,000 percent excess rainfall at several places.

“For the first time in five years, I have seen rains like this. I am spending most of the time out of home to soak in the rain for the past four days,” Hari Shanker, a farmer in Chitrakoot district’s Manikpur village, told IANS.

“I will be happier if the monsoon lasts longer; then we will no longer have to wait for the government to declare some drought package,” said Shanker.

His enthusiasm is not misplaced. In less than a fortnight of early arrival of monsoon, all the districts in the region have recorded 36 percent to 1,021 percent excess rain than normal.

Kaushal Kishore, a farmer in Banda district’s Khurhard village, located about 250 km from Lucknow, was jubilant.

“We have already sowed our paddy crop. It has rained life on us. I have not seen anything like this,” he said adding that he was sure this time it would not stop raining.

“We believe it’s the ‘akhand’ Ramayan (continuous Ramayan prayers) to invoke the rain gods that we have been holding here which has brought this result. We will not stop the prayers,” Shlok Kumar Mishra, a resident of Lalapur village in Chitrakoot district told IANS by phone.

People of as many as 108 villages under Pahadi Block had been participating in the prayers for the past several days. “It has not stopped raining for the past four days,” Mishra said.

The Met department Tuesday said Hamirpur district with 68 mm rainfall so far has crossed its average rainfall by 1,021 per cent. The district usually receives 5.6 mm rain at this time.

The normal rainfall of Jhansi district was 8.9 mm, which has already touched 23.2 mm, while Banda district recorded 36 percent increase.

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