Parched district not yet declared drought affected in Chhattisgarh

In Hatkacharama village, 15 km from Narharpur tehsil of Uttar Bastar Kanker district, Chhattisgarh, farmer Vishnuram Sodhi is worried that his crop may fail, adding to his already mounting debts. His tehsil, Narharpur has received negligible rainfall in the monsoon, putting futures of many farmers in a similar jeopardy. However, the government has yet to declare drought in the area, where over 150 other villages suffer a similar plight as his. While the government declared other blocks of the Kanker district as drought-affected, it is yet to declare Narharpur Tehsil as drought affected too.

The Raman Singh government declared 80 per cent of Chhattisgarh is drought-affected in 2015. However, relief for Sodhi and thousands of other farmers in similar plight is nowhere in sight. “If the area is declared as drought-hit, we can at least find employment through government schemes like MGNREGA. Otherwise we’ll be forced to migrate out of state for work.” His 6-acre farm may not yield adequate crop for both, running his household and feeding his family. “We will have no food to survive on, if the crop fails. Whatever little paddy we will have, will be stored as seeds for the next season,” reveals Sodhi.

To bring their dire situation up to government’s notice, over 13,000 farmers had held a demonstration rally and also appealed for the same through Jan Darshan to draw the government’s attention to the region’s problem, but so far little has been done about it. The Chhattisgarh government claims that so far, Rs. 105 crore has been given to farmers in the drought-affected zones. But many farmers claim they have not received compensation.

The community demands that District Collector, Smt Sami Abhadhi declares Narharpur district as drought-affected. To take action, call or message the concerned authority in +91 7868241222.

Community correspondent Deena Ganwer reports from Chhattisgarh for Video Volunteers.

This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent. Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ they give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change. we could hyperlink to some VV pages, like our take action page.

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