Corruption, not global warming, makes Gujarat a parched land
As the temperature soars higher and higher, there is water scarcity everywhere. Topping the list of the parched places is Dang of Gujarat. Here, the entire district is facing a devastating drought. Ironically, this is happening despite that fact that Dang receives the highest rainfall level in all of Gujarat.
Roshan Saroliya, a community reporter for IndiaUnheard says, it’s corruption, rather than global warming which has created this crisis situation.
“We have abundant water resources. But faulty dams, untested equipment and poor management have allowed water resources to leak. As a result, thousands of families are crying for water.”
Dang has 1,86,712 population, out of which about 1,04,918 are tribals. Surprisingly, the water crisis of Dang hasn’t been reported anywhere in the state’s mainstream media which otherwise has pages and hours to devote to matters as small as 6 cricketers being disciplined by the cricket board, or, an ex-minister’s engagement to a businesswoman in Bangalore. It’s difficult to understand the logic behind the prioritization of such trivial issues over issues that concern over a hundred thousand people.
With the mainstream media dismissing the issues, the onus is now on people from within to report the wrongs that are happening to them and Roshan, a Dangi tribal himself, is playing that role with aplomb.
Staring to work from 3rd May, the world press freedom day, Roshan filed his first ever news video addressing the unheard issue of water crisis due to corruption. The report shows how dams are built around rivers and rivulets and how local administration is allowing use of low grade equipment and materials in this construction, which are not leak proof. The water, lifeline to the locals, gets leaked out and when the need rises at its peak, there’s only the dry bottom.
The video highlights the rising corruption in water management sector. It shows a check dam built around Khapri –one of the four rivers flowing through Dang. There are visual proofs of how the dams are built in a poor way, apparently suing very little of the money allocated for the project. As a result, water is leaking out of the dam in small, but continuous trickles. So now there is neither water in the river as the dam stopped the flow, nor in the dam as it got wasted through the leakages. The tubewells, on the other hand are dug without any prior check on the existing ground water level and are therefore completely dry.
So here we are – small issues of big significance, brought alive by a reporter who lives the reality day in and out. And with that, we see a community voice rising not just about heat and thirst, but against the elements that are causing these.