BIS # 3418 DROUGHT ALERT IN AHMEDNAGAR DISTRICT UNANNOUNCED
BOSCO INFORMATION SERVICE #3418
DROUGHT ALERT IN AHMEDNAGAR DISTRICT UNANNOUNCED
By Bento D'Souza
AHMEDNAGAR-NASIK, March 04, 2013: With poor monsoons in Ahmednagar district and the Bhandardharan Dam gone dry, what sort of summer heat and drought will we have to bear? This is the concern in every one's mind. Many villagers have approached us for water and work. Since there is no water, there is no work for the people, hence no source of income into homes. And the summer has hardly begun. The Deputy District Collector says that due to digging of borewells, the water table in the area has gone considerably low. Huge money was gained from selling land to Sharad Pawar's daughter's Company, Suzlon's Pawan Chakkis.
Can these giant windmillsblow away the rain clouds? The skies are bright blue with no rain bearing clouds in sight. In an effort to gain profit and easy money, the area is as bad as it was before being the rain shadow region and the results are tragic, no rain for the rivers, streams and rain water projects of the district. The Government has failed to announce the drought in the area due to panic and the greed of politicians who will stock up moollah for themselves in human and natural calamities, leave the poor to fight their own battles and fend for themselves while they fill their own coffers.
In such a bleak scenario, do we follow the planned 'rights-based approach' or take the easy step out of providing dole out of cash for work for the Catholics in our villages of the area? This is the dilemma of development workers and missionaries of the Ahmednagar District. Will the 'human-rights approach' to people's development or the 'Santa Claus approach' satisfy the need of the hour? Will prayer appease the god of rain in the Ahmednagar District? Or Will fasting?
Twenty parishioners, mostly women, of Bhingar accompanied by the two priests of the parish made a pilgrimage of Prayer and Trust interceding for rain. St John's Parish, Bhingar undertook on March 02, a five hour padayatra (walking) today from the Cantonment, Bhingar for re-enacting the fourteen stations of the Cross in the Ahmednagar city on the streets finally ending with the Eucharist in BGVK, Kedgaon, to pray so that the God of Rain may listen to the prayers of the needy and poor people of the place. The stations of the cross were prayed at St Anne's, Sacred Heart school, Social center, St Thomas church, Kedgaon and along the stops on the Ahmednagar – Pune highway.
No longer do the children pray: "Rain, Rain, go away, come again, another day. Little Johnny wants to play. Little Johnny wants to play." Instead children recite the rhyme: " Rain, Rain, come today, we need water to drink, cattle to feed, plants to water, dams to fill. Come again, come today thus we pray."