Unscientific road construction on the hills is leading to landslides and choking of rivers across India. Unscientific and reckless mining practices create vertical cracks in the hills that lead to aquifer leaks and depletion of surface water.Change agriculture practices Irrigation to produce rice, a staple food in major parts of India, is causing greater stress on water. There is an urgent need to change agriculture practices to control huge evaporation loss.An acre of paddy and sugarcane cultivation needs about 50 lakh to 80 lakh litres of water. Moreover, rice is the least water-efficient cereal. And now India is the third largest exporter of virtual water in the world in the form of rice. If we fail to recognise this, feeding the growing population and keeping them healthy will be a Herculean task.
As per the Global Hunger Index 2017, India ranks below North Korea. More than half of the women population in India suffer from anemia and the children suffer from chronic undernourishment.We have to shift to growing less water intensive rice varieties, other cereals that are less harmful to the environment and that meet the nutritional needs such as millets (finger millet, pearl millet and others). Roots and tubers that the tribal population in India was wise to feed on should be encouraged as healthy diet.We have to go on a war footing to fight water, agrarian and environmental crises.We need many Gandhis to lead an ecological revolution, to protect the ecosystems, the people and the culture. The industrial thinking and materialism will only lead to violence and large scale destruction.Unfortunately our priorities are skewed. Even in the face of looming ecological disaster we are being unmindful participants in directionless politics and divisive religious acts and others.Awaiting tragedies will not wither away if we bury our heads in the sand.