Photo-Narratives: India

Nature is Angry — Randullabad, Satara district of Maharashtra, India (December 2019)

Photograph and Narrative Provided by Irene Leonardelli

“Nature is angry. We know it because it’s not raining and there are not as many trees as before.” –  With these words an old woman farmer shares her concern about the wilting, dry landscape of her village, Randullabad, in the rain shadow area of Maharashtra. People here are completely dependent on groundwater resources. For many years, they have been exploiting, extracting, consuming groundwater both for agriculture and for domestic purposes without imagining or taking into account and practice that it was a finite, limited resource.

When they did realize, the aquifers were heavily overexploited. So, since 2011, and 

with the support of local NGOs (including ACWADAM), the people of Randullabad implemented a participatory groundwater management programme to restore the balance of the aquifer and re-distribute and use groundwater resources in a more equitable and sustainable way. For instance, they decided to put a community ban to drill bore wells and to use a big tank as a harvesting structure to recharge the aquifer (in the photo).

People in Randullabad are suggesting that we cannot just drill, exploit, extract, consume; we shall recharge, recycle, share. For them, caring for the aquifer means caring for each other.

It means trying to make nature a little less angry.