Review of all meteorological data establishes the fact that we are in the midst of a worst drought. 246 districts in 10 states have been declared drought affected. (Source: BBC News)
Summer rains are crucial to rice, soyabean, sugar, and cotton crops.
In this article written by Mr. Himanshu, he looks back at how previous governments responded to droughts creating opportunities for improvement.
The first major drought after independence was in the mid-1960s, with severe consequences for food security.The opportunity was the green revolution and by the end of the next decade we were more or less self-sufficient in food. It was also successful in increasing irrigation on a much bigger scale than in the previous decades.
The second major public policy lesson was also a response to droughts. The much-appreciated National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) is a successor of such a policy initiative. It was the Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Scheme which was started initially as a drought relief programme that formed the basis of a unique experiment in the world to provide guaranteed employment to the rural poor.
He talks about how this drought can be viewed as an opportunity to enact the ‘Right to Food’ Act. Is it not the right time to give a new deal for Rural India? (We all know very well about the food crisis in our country.) Read more here.