Sunday, 11 June 2017

Anecdotes cannot be evidence of any phenomenon, but evidence is made of anecdotes.
I have lived in Hyderabad since 1986 and have employed a large number of maids. One of them who worked for me in 2002, had lands which she and her family farmed in Medak district. The government had decided to build the Singur dam on the Manjira river to supply drinking water to the growing city of Hyderabad. This was in the early '90s. They acquired lands from farmers, one of them being this maid's family. They did not get any compensation immediately, and having no means of livelihood, came to Hyderabad to work as flower sellers. She then took up domestic work and ended working for me and a few others. In 2002, the government decided to give her compensation for the lands and she went off for a few days to her village. After a lot of red tape, she got 25000 as compensation. Even in 2002, 25000  was a small amount, and it came almost a decade late. Somehow, she had the option of working as a domestic servant and was lucky to survive. How tough it must be for most people to be uprooted from their homes and told to fend for themselves with their means of livelihood taken away.
My current maid has farmlands in a place near Hyderabad, but her family cannot farm there since there is no water. All around Hyderabad, this is the story.........farmlands are fallow since there is no water. Telangana is a semi-arid region. We have an institute ICRISAT that does research on crops for such regions, but how many farmers get know-how from them and  raise suitable crops I don't know. It is definitely not a vast majority.
Israel raises tomatoes in the desert. I still remember a picture of tomatoes growing amidst desert sands that I saw decades back. So why do we not pass technical know-how more effectively to our farmers?
Do government departments have competent people manning them? This year, the Telangana government asked all farmers to sow chillies. There is now a glut and prices are low. Did they not do the math?
The state water testing departments has people who don't know how to test water properly. The forest department has planted a forest of eucalyptus all along the road to BITS Pilani Hyd....these are just some examples. We get frivolous solutions to serious problems like floating thermocol sheets on lakes.
Should not the administration get competent people to advise and then follow the good advice?




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