Letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

Monsoon in India is warmly welcomed as it boosts agriculture. Even today over 50% of agriculture depends on monsoon rain. It is an important economic activity which not only provides livelihood to millions of farmers and workers but also contributes 15% of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This means that when a crop fails because of too little rain, the economy suffers. On the other hand, when it rains heavily, and does not stop in time then it also brings miseries in the form of floods.

India has a vast geographic area and so it’s natural for it to have distinct climatic features for the entire country. With the sudden change in the arrival of monsoon hitting Kerala or heavy rainfall in upper reaches of Himalaya the chain reaction that follows has a huge say in the lives of people of this great country.

The cover story this month is on the devastation that floods cause and the miseries it brings to the people of India. Not only is the North East region suffering from flood, but almost the entire country is in the grip of floods. Bihar is one of the biggest sufferers in the process. It is absolutely true, in the hour of crisis, government, as well as NGOs and the people, join hands together to provide relief to the people. In short term, this appears to be perfectly okay. However, the main issue here is, how we can solve this long term problem of floods which is a perennial affair in our region.

There is much talk about linking of rivers, so that the surplus water is diverted to the areas where there is less water, thereby bringing a solution to the problem of floods and drought. But, there is yet another school of thought which believes that this is not feasible. Their argument is that, waterways constructed through jungles will lead to large scale deforestation and displacement of animals, which will in turn disturb our economic system. However, I believe, the government must invest on research and proper simulation must be done in order to find out long term solution to the problems of the floods and drought.

Harsh Jhunjhunwala