Did the unseasonal rain force you to change your plans on sunday? Canceled an outing, skipped dinner with friends, couldn’t take that stroll in the gully? This ‘rain in winter’ phenomenon is becoming a new season itself in Maharashtra. So much so that it has a name in Marathi language – Hivsala(हिवसाळा)
But the sunday rains forced to change plans for one more group in Maharashtra – Our Farmers. The unseasonal rain on 26/11/23 was so bad for farmers that it was compared to attacks of 26/11 by many farmers on social media. Many areas faced the sudden hailstorms attack which destroyed thousands of acres.
We visited some of the farms from affected areas yesterday in Nashik’s Niphad area. This is what hailstorms did to their crops. These are Onion, Grapes, Maize crops after taking a beating from just minutes of hailstorms. This is the second time in eight months when these farmers have faced rains and hailstorms.
Climate change is here and is killing the dreams and hopes of crores of farmers and the farm labor dependent on agrarian economy. It’s making farmers think about migrating to cities and joining the labor force because they can’t work under constant stress of climate change and its adverse impacts on farming.
Farmers are promised compensation for their losses by the government but they are not happy with these promises because they still have not paid compensation for last year’s destruction. Even when paid these compensations are less than even total expenditure on the crop. The farm labor from this region will have no work and they have to migrate too as there won’t be any work for the whole season now.
It’s high time that all hands come together to fight climate change at source and not with the bandage solutions after impact. We need to amplify the efforts of river rejuvenation, groundwater recharge, afforestation, increasing forest cover, reducing vehicular pollution, dust mitigation, rainwater harvesting and a lot more. We are team Project Vaata, a team of Jhatkaa.org studying the impacts of climate change on marginalized communities of Maharashtra so that their issues can be highlighted in a larger climate change narrative. We also aim to focus on long term climate mitigation with movements led by rural climate warriors. We aim to change the way Maharashtra’s state level climate mitigation policy is designed.
If you like our work or have suggestions for us feel free to reach us at email@example.com. We are a small team of 5 people with limited resources but we have built a strong network of partners and individuals who share our vision. Be a part of this journey. Together, we can advocate for equitable, inclusive, and sustainable solutions that stand the test of climate change.
Roshan and Project Vaata Team, Jhatkaa.org