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‘Drought in Bundelkhand bordering on famine’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 09, 2016

bundelkhand

Swaraj Abhiyan survey finds starvation and destitution in both UP and MP





The crisis in drought-hit Bundelkhand region, spread across Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, is bordering on famine, says the latest survey by Swaraj Abhiyan in 109 villages.

Releasing the findings here on Monday, Swaraj Abhiyan said only 5 per cent of villages in the MP region reported ongoing work under the rural job scheme, MGNREGA, while in UP, 29 per cent villages reported such jobs.

However, only 6 per cent villages in UP reported crop loss compensation, while in MP, 30 per cent villages reported receipt of crop compensation for drought.

Crisis situation

Seven districts in UP and four districts in MP in the region are reeling under drought and acute water shortage, leading to hunger, destitution and cattle deaths.

“Unfortunately both the State governments appear to have let the drought-stricken citizens down at this critical moment,” said the organisation, led by former Aam Aadmi Party leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.

While the UP government has announced some relief measures for the region, Madhya Pradesh has not bothered even with this formality, the survey noted.

Starvation

Almost 60 per cent villages on the UP side reported having over 10 families in each of them who could not manage two square meals a day. The corresponding number in MP was 35 per cent.

“There are reports of begging for food and eating poor quality foodgrain substitutes like ‘fikar’, a seed of wild grass growing in the region. While the situation has not crossed danger levels on this front, it requires constant monitoring and watch till the next crop arrives in October 2016,” the survey added.

With rains about six weeks away, 40 per cent Bundelkhand villages in MP were left with two or less functioning hand-pumps. Only 18 per cent villages appeared to be in the safe zone of having over 10 functional hand-pumps, while the situation is better in UP, with 5 per cent villages above this threshold.

Published on May 09, 2016
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