The signs were all there, the warning posted at every turn of the way. Yet, we chose to ignore it. So, we now a miffed Global Warming that is dying to make us pay for our negligence, starting with changing the climate. Noticed how summers have gone from being pleasantly sunny to god-damn-scotching-hot? Or how monsoon rainfalls have become erratic? Well, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The urban population is still lucky. Each time the thermometer threatens to cross 40 degrees, we grab the remote control of our air conditioners, dig out some sunscreen and even larger cold drink bottles. Have we ever spared a thought to the rural population? And more importantly, to the poor farmer? He doesn’t even get 24 hours running electricity, how will he put up with the heat? And more worrying is the prospect of a dry monsoon. If it doesn’t rain adequately, his livelihood is on the line. Indi is called an ‘agrarian’ country for a reason; about 60% of our population is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. How do you think they manage during a drought? Difficulty to adapt to this sudden change in climate is what has caused 17,000 farmers to commit suicide in the year 2009. Can you take a guess at how much the number must have gone up till now?
Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) is an NGO that has taken up the responsibility of tackling this problem in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand. Through its initiative Climate Change Adaption, it has implemented rainwater harvesting and watershed development in fifty three villages of India. It is trying to improve the adaptive capacities of rural communities to respond to the effects of emergency climate change.
Partnered in its efforts by NABARD and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, WOTR has implemented agro-meteorology at the village level to track weather patterns. Concepts such as water budgeting, crop planning, irrigation management and sustainable agronomic practices are taught to farmers to enable them to adapt to the impact of emergency climate change. It also tries to harness alternate energy sources to meet rural energy requirements.
The bottom line is that even though global warming is a deadly phenomenon, we don’t necessarily have to sit in the sidelines and watch it unfold. If one NGO can help out 9800 households, then we can definitely do our bit to prevent global warming from increasing.