15 April 2016

As India reels from drought, gov't slammed for poor policies

In this April 12, 2016 photo, a boy who migrated from drought hit areas of the western Indian state of Maharashtra, carries water to his family's makeshift hut in Kukse Borivali, 85 kilometres (53 miles) north-east of Mumbai, India. Decades of groundwater abuse, populist water policies and poor monsoons have turned vast swaths of central and western India into a dust bowl, driving distressed farmers to suicide or menial day labor in the cities.
Shantabai Babulkar's day begins before dawn with a 5 kilometer (3 mile) trek across barren fields and dusty scrubland to fetch water from a distant well for her family.
The two metal pots of muddy water that Babulkar, 58, balances on her head and a third that she carries in the crook of her arm are the only source of water for her and the five members of her family for their day's needs of drinking, cooking and washing.