Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bundelkhand is a dirt-poor region where people are now desperately scratching the dirt for water. Only a few farmers have enough money to dig more than 50 metres and pump water out of the few aquifers that have not gone dry. A few others have built check dams and embankments to hold the rain where it falls, and their farms remain profitable. But such oases are too few and far between.
Bundelkhand is amongst the worst places on earth to be a farmer. Decades of land and water mismanagement made worse by anaemic showers and changing rainfall patterns triggered by climate change have led to untold misery for its largely agrarian population. But many community workers and experts say the situation is not irrevocable. The region may yet prosper by adopting better ways to conserve water, in step with a more sustainable and varying use of the land.