The story of a farmer waiting to grow crops again
“I am a farmer with no crops,” 45-year-old Lal Singh introduces himself to any outsider willing to hear his story. A resident of Bomma Reddy Gudem village in Telangana’s Sangareddy district, Singh, like several others in his village, had to give up farming because of a lack of water to irrigate his fields. The rains which would earlier nurture his land, have, of late, become scanty and unpredictable, leaving his land devoid of any crop.
“It was not always like this. The rains would earlier feed my crops and I would get a good harvest,” Singh said. Then as the weather changed and access to water became a problem, he decided to install a bore well in his field. But that too failed. “It became dry and the whole purpose was lost,” he said.
Refusing to give up, Singh kept investing in his land and his crops, hoping against hope for a good monsoon and good harvest. In the meantime, the expenses kept building up. His wife fell ill, his son began college. But all he got in return were losses. “Finally I gave up and started going for daily wage work. Even that is not consistent. Some days I get work, some days I don’t. It is getting difficult to sustain,” he sighed.
An intervention by WaterAid India and AB InBev—on building a soak pit around Singh’s bore well and recharging it—has however given hope to the beleaguered farmer. “The officials say that the soak pit will help soak the surface water when it rains and raise the water level,” he said, “It will hopefully bring water back to my bore well. I will hopefully be able to grow crops once again.”