Mandya's polls: farmers dry on water and hope
Vishaka George • Mandya district, Karnataka

Mandya's polls: farmers dry on water and hope

With barely 24 hours to go for voting, farmers in Karnataka’s Mandya district might vote in large numbers, but they remain unconvinced by the promises made by major political parties

May 11, 2018 | Vishaka George
Marathwada's troubled waters harm your bones
Parth M.N. • Nanded, Maharashtra

Marathwada's troubled waters harm your bones

Recurring droughts in Marathwada have forced people in villages like Sawarkhed to drink fluoride-contaminated groundwater from borewells, which has inflicted debilitating fluorosis on many

January 12, 2018 | Parth M.N.

Memories of water
Sahith M. and Rahul M. • Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh

Memories of water

A steady decrease in rainfall, the switch to water-intensive cash crops and ever-increasing borewells have lowered the water table in Nagarur village of Anantapur, leaving farmers struggling to keep their crops alive

August 24, 2017 | Sahith M. and Rahul M.
Between life and death – a drought
Jaideep Hardikar • Tiruchchirappalli, Tamil Nadu

Between life and death – a drought

The farmers of Thayanur village, Tamil Nadu, are facing a huge crisis that transcends the drought – and as the crisis deepens across the Cauvery delta, some have died due to shock, many have committed suicide

July 25, 2017 | Jaideep Hardikar
At a '100-day' site, the elderly battle drought
Jaideep Hardikar • Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu

At a '100-day' site, the elderly battle drought

In Tamil Nadu's once-fertile Cauvery delta, a long and severe drought has wrecked farming. In many villages, the young have migrated for work and the elderly are doing backbreaking labour to earn some money

July 20, 2017 | Jaideep Hardikar

Distress and death in the delta
Jaideep Hardikar • Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu

Distress and death in the delta

A long drought in the Cauvery delta in Tamil Nadu has triggered a series of farmers' deaths due to heart attack. The state denies agrarian distress is the cause, but many families have a different story to tell

July 18, 2017 | Jaideep Hardikar

‘We don’t get water, you do’
Samyukta Shastri • Palghar, Maharashtra

‘We don’t get water, you do’

Women and girls of the fishing community in Killabandar village, Palghar district, spend hours scraping the bottom of a well for drinking water, and resent that their region’s water is diverted to Mumbai city

July 6, 2017 | Samyukta Shastri

‘Even in the heat, there is some guilt if I drink the water…’

Shalubai Chavan of Latur spends eight hours every day filling water for her family; others spend three times the rate for water than beer factories in Aurangabad. And usually, it is women who do this backbreaking task

June 29, 2017 | Parth M.N.
Wells of despair
Parth M.N. • Osmanabad, Maharashtra

Wells of despair

An unregulated borewell economy thrives through the dry summers in Osmanabad district of Marathwada, with agents and rig owners cashing in on the desperation of farmers to find water at any depth, any cost

June 16, 2017 | Parth M.N.
Sinking wells, sunk in debt
Parth M.N. • Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Sinking wells, sunk in debt

Every day, a half-complete well reminds Karbhari Jadhav of Ganori village of his loans, mortgaged land, debts, and labour, because pay-offs and visits to government offices for years did not bring any sanctioned funds

April 26, 2017 | Parth M.N.

Up against a stone wall – the Wadars at Vasai
Samyukta Shastri • Palghar, Maharashtra

Up against a stone wall – the Wadars at Vasai

The Wadars of Maharashtra are stoneworkers who travel across India to restore monuments, many forced off their land by drought. At Vasai Fort north of Mumbai, they speak of their gruelling work and sense of despair

February 20, 2017 | Samyukta Shastri
The sacred waters of a tanker
P. Sainath • Nashik, Maharashtra

The sacred waters of a tanker

Maharashtra’s water crisis continues even if media coverage of it dries up with the onset of the rains

June 24, 2016 | P. Sainath

The house that Phule's family built
P. Sainath • Satara, Maharashtra

The house that Phule's family built

Katgun village in Satara district, where Jyotiba Phule’s ancestral home survives, is not driven by his thirst for knowledge, education and justice. It is driven by thirst

June 7, 2016 | P. Sainath

Source of the rivers, scams of the rulers
P. Sainath • Satara, Maharashtra

Source of the rivers, scams of the rulers

Why rivers run dry while money floods the system in Maharashtra. A journey downstream the Krishna river

May 25, 2016 | P. Sainath

Drilling holes in the Thirst Economy
P. Sainath • Osmanabad, Maharashtra

Drilling holes in the Thirst Economy

As the borewells go deeper in Maharashtra, there have been worrying instances of ‘paleo-historic storages’ being breached

April 7, 2016 | P. Sainath
The deep water crisis
P. Sainath • Namakkal district, Tamil Nadu

The deep water crisis

Rig operators from Tamil Nadu are responding to a desperate demand from farmers across India, but with grave consequences for groundwater supplies

April 7, 2016 | P. Sainath

When water flows like money
P. Sainath • Osmanabad, Maharashtra

When water flows like money

If drought is making many in Osmanabad struggle for survival, it is also boosting a 24-hour trade that thrives on scarcity

April 7, 2016 | P. Sainath
Tankers and the economy of thirst
P. Sainath • Ratnagiri, Maharashtra

Tankers and the economy of thirst

The water markets of Marathwada are booming, and in the town of Jalna alone, tanker owners can reach sales of close to Rs. 1 crore each day

April 6, 2016 | P. Sainath

How the other half dries
P. Sainath • Jalna, Maharashtra

How the other half dries

Water-guzzling crops, water parks, luxury pools – they are all connected to Maharashtra’s drying lakes and rivers. Who owns or controls this resource will be even more crucial now

December 20, 2014 | P. Sainath