Field stories from across semi-arid rural India, whether Rajasthan, Maharashtra or Andhra Pradesh, reflect a now-recurring narrative of an agrarian crisis. There is a growing desperation in rural India, and it is manifesting in various ways - from farmer suicides across drylands to violence in tribal-dominated lands and sporadic riots. These incidents are symptomatic of a deeper problem - one of shrinking work options and the undermining of existing farm-based livelihoods by erosive policies and rapid natural resource degradation.
Chandni Singh is a postdoctoral researcher at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), Bangalore and works on a project called Adaptation at Scale in Semi-arid Regions (ASSAR). She researches the interface of rural livelihoods and climate change. She writes at Village Vignettes and tweets @_chandnisingh.
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