Its meaning: Drought is a condition of no rains when the standing crops, mostly rain-fed, gets dried up and is destroyed.
While India is a country rich in natural resources and manpower, she is still far behind other developed countries of the world in matters of conquering the forces of nature.
The vagaries of the Indian climate are a veritable obstruction in the path of her property and well-being. She is often visited by long spells of drought or abundance of rains causing floods.
Causes: The situation of drought arises when there is long spell of severe water shortages. The causes of drought includes the followings:
Scarcity of rain-fall.
Lack of irrigation facilities to supplement the need for water during the period of inadequate monsoon.
Lack of properly developed Rain-water harvesting methods
Lack of proper planning to deal with the situation.
Widespread deforestation and cutting of trees has reduced the ability of soil to hold water. Lack of underground water is a major cause for droughts.
Evil effects of drought: Like floods, drought is a grave natural calamity that affects Indian life, its agriculture, industry, and economy.
Wells, tanks and canals get dried and even the cattle die without water. Farmers and daily wage-earners leave their homes and migrate into other parts of the country in search of employment.
Famine breaks out people face untold miseries and hardships. The cruelty of the angry rain-god, as most of the people in rural areas are prone to believe, makes them suffer from disease and starvation. Poverty and squalor become their inseparable companions.
Sometimes, their tales of sadness and sorrow grow beyond proportion when they find that sowing the seeds for growing Rabi crops becomes impossible due to drought condition. This results in famine conditions.
Industry suffers a setback due to the scarcity of raw materials produced by agriculture. Already there is a substantial shortfall in industrial production. This combined with the demand of increased wages by the workers, puts the industrialists on the horns of a dilemma and some industries face closure.
The impact of drought is even in the social field. Faced by hunger and frustrated by uncertain future, many of our people indulge into illegal practices creating law and order problem for the government.
Solution: To tackle the problem of drought in our country, the following solutions are suggested.
All our efforts should be made to preserve rain waters in various ways and tap ground water sources to meet unexpected drought situations.
Improved rain-water harvesting methods should be deployed.
The people should be educated regarding the importance of water, so that they do-not misuse the stored water
New improved methods of irrigation should be introduced.
Deforestation should be discouraged to increase the ability of the soil to hold water.
Conclusion: It is high time that the government mobilized all its resources to provide succor to the people in this hour and fight the monster of drought with determination. It has not yet devised ways and means to face and fight natural calamities.