Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Rains have started and my heart is craving to go home.
That’s how it has always been. Even after living in Pune for 3 years , I eagerly wait for the rains to come to my home in Akola.
Thankfully it has already started to rain in the dried lands of Vidharbha . . and most of the dams are filled with waters. Al least this year the Vidharbhians are spared of yearly water problems which get worse during the summers.
Just last year, at the beginning of July, the percentage of water in Katepurna dam was around 16% and the authorities had the tough job managing it for the entire year. The solution – supply water once in 4 days. The 4 days then became 5, and 6, and 7 and then finally during summers 10 days. The authorities divided Akola in 7 parts and distributed water accordingly. Every day in the newspapers, people checked the water percentage just like they checked the temperatures or the gold/silver rates. Many of them were forced to buy water. People living in apartments had to carry water to the 5th, 6th floors. There were news that’s if it doesn’t rain soon; the dead stock of the dams would have to be used. All this with temperatures soaring up to 47-48 degrees and load shedding more than 7 hours a day, life seemed miserable.
But finally the almighty was generous this year and the dams were filled even before the end of season. Credit must go to the people and of course the authorities, who intelligently managed the water crisis. I am not writing this just because Akola happens to be my home, but the spirit of the people living there is really commendable. One can get cool breeze during night even in hot Rajasthan, as the sand cools when the temperature drops. But in Akola its like being constantly inside an oven. The winds are rare and they are hot even at 9 pm. People constantly sweat. Housewives, working women even small children get a problem of low blood pressure, dehydration due to constant water loss from the body. My mom would constantly crib on the phone about heat. Even my dog snowy would spend entire day under the cooler or under the bed. Coolers – Yes !!! Coolers are necessity. Using them even for 24 hours is not sufficient. And what use they have when there is load shedding for seven hours, in such a situation, imagine the water scarcity and one feels like leaving Akola for the good. If this is a condition of people like us; I get goose bumps even if I imagine the state in which poor people live. One has to live there to experience this.
The rains have given temporary relief from some of the problems. At least people will get sufficient water. But the problem of load shedding still remains. Once the rains are gone. . temperatures will be still high in October. One just needs to wait for the next summer. . and the story continues.