India – Erratic rainfall is affecting livelihoods in Akalteri, Janjgir District

“My name is Kamala and I am 31 years old. I am married and I have four children, among them are three daughters and one son. I am a housewife and I prepare my children for school. Apart from domestic work, I am doing some farming and work on our own land with our other family members. Now, rainfall is a big problem for our family and for our village, compared to earlier. So we are now facing lower crop yields and water problems also. We are using most of the crop (paddy) for food consumption. If we have surplus food, then we sell it.

Water is now a major problem for our village. To overcome the water problem, there should be big pond, canal─ a major water source, a well should be established in our village, so that people can do their work smoothly. In the summer we fetch water from a far distance and for bathing purposes we are using the pond water. In this period we face lots of problems due to water shortage. We are also facing this problem during the time of harvest. Sometimes during harvest there is erratic rainfall and all our agricultural products wilt. To mitigate this problem I can’t go outside to search for work, because I have very small children. Who will look after them? Also physically, we are not able to do hard work. So we have to do work in our own village. We are doing farming work and other labor work to meet all our family’s expenses. We are living the life called ‘bread and butter’.

It was our great pleasure that your people visited our village and collected the data about our problems. We are expecting that you will raise it at higher levels for better solutions. We hope you will share it in your country and do something for our village.”

Interview conducted by Julie Maldonado, PhD candidate, Anthropology, American University


Kamla-bai Kashyap © Julie Maldonado